Kitten burned in Philly recovering at Hunterdon County vet
NJ.com: The one-pound kitten was found, burning, at a Philadelphia intersection last Thursday. A quick-thinking Samaritan took off a coat, and smothered the flames, saving the burning 5-week-old animal’s life.
Six days later, the kitten – now named Justin – is getting delicate medical attention, and he’s expected to mostly recover from the second- and third-degree burns on his back and head.
The tiny kitten is eating and sleeping, and undergoing a regimen of antibiotics, wound dressings, and appetite stimulants at the Crown Veterinary Specialists in Lebanon, said Anne Trinkle, the executive director of Animal Alliance.
“He’s doing remarkably well – but he’s not out of the woods yet,” said Trinkle, of Animal Alliance, a Lambertville-based animal-welfare non-profit, which got the cat the care he needed.
Most of Justin’s ears will have to be removed, and badly-burned splotches on his back will remain bald, said Trinkle. The scorched wounds extend from the top of the feline’s head down the length of his back. The scar tissue has to be carefully debrided regularly to allow the skin to continue healing, she said.
An unknown person had doused the kitten with accelerant and applied a flame – before leaving Justin to die at the intersection of F and Clearfield Streets in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, on April 25, investigators say.
Justin the kitten is expected to mostly recover – but his vet bills will probably be steep. In the meantime, authorities have offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who set him on fire.
“It’s just depravity,” said Trinkle, who said her group handled four animals in the area who were set on fire last year alone. “It’s just random violence – and it’s toward something tiny that can’t fight back.”
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of as much as $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the attack.
“This is the latest in a disturbing string of animals apparently being intentionally lit on fire,” said Sarah Speed, the Humane Society’s Pennsylvania state director. “This depraved act of cruelty will not be tolerated, and we hope this reward will encourage anyone with information to come forward and help bring a perpetrator to justice.”
Six days later, the veterinarians are describing Justin the kitten as “spunky” and “animated” – when he’s not sleeping off the anesthesia and medications helping him to recover. The medical bills are likely to be steep – in the range of $5,000 to $6,000, Trinkle said. The all-volunteer group is seeking donations to make his full recovery possible. But they’re confident that good-intentioned people bring that to a reality.
“He’ll look like a little prize-fighter,” Trinkle said. “But we’re hoping he’s going to have a fantastic life.”
Donations are being accepted at www.animalalliancenj.org.
What kind of sick person sets a helpless animal on fire? There’s a special place for them in their afterlife.
Glad Justin is recovering!