Vets work to save tortured kittens/2 severely burned/1 put down

Peggy McConnellPeggy McConnell Near JacksonvilleMember Posts: 14,727
FROM JACKSONVILLE TIMES UNION..........JACKSONVILLE, FL............. Veterinarians in two states are working to save the lives of a pair of kittens that were tortured with fireworks and set ablaze near their owner's rural South Georgia home, an attack that has horrified detectives and animal lovers. Little Jim, an 8-month-old, gray-and-white tabby, suffered third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body. He was in "very critical" condition Wednesday at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center in Gainesville, said veterinarian Amanda Hall of Baytree Animal Hospital in Valdosta. "Little Jim needs multiple skin grafts and surgeries," Hall said. Hall transferred the kitten to the widely respected veterinary medical center. She keeps tabs on Little Jim's condition via daily telephone calls to his doctors. They are keeping him in a medically induced coma to control the excruciating pain as he is treated, she said. Little Jim's sister, Blackie, sustained third-degree burns on her feet, belly, face and head. Hall had to amputate a portion of Blackie's ears because the burns were so severe. Blackie continues to recover at the animal hospital, she said. "These are two very sweet and affectionate kitties. They are dearly loved by their owner, and none of us can understand why someone would do this," Hall said. Hall was on call Dec. 20 when the kittens' owner, Jim Ragan, who lives 5 miles away in neighboring Brooks County, rushed them to Baytree. The kittens had managed to make their way home to Ragan despite their injuries, she said. Two days later, one of Ragan's neighbors brought in his kitten that also had been severely burned like Little Jim and Blackie. Fluffy, a 4-month-old long-haired kitten, was so badly injured that Hall had to euthanize her the following day. Hall believes a sparkler or Roman candle was inserted in the cats' rectums and they were doused with lighter fluid and set on fire. "It's just horrific," she said. Ragan couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday. An automated telephone message stated his voice mailbox was full and couldn't accept any messages. Investigation under way Sgt. Keith Anderson of the Brooks County Sheriff's Office, the lead investigator, said it was the worst animal cruelty case the Sheriff's Office has encountered in recent memory. No arrests have been made, though Anderson said police have "a couple of suspects." Whoever did it will be charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty, each punishable by one to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine, he said. There haven't been any prior animal cruelty cases reported in the area off Troupville Road near the Brooks-Lowndes County line, where the kittens were burned, Anderson said. "This indicates a deeply disturbing problem that could lead to other things even worse," Anderson said. He noted animal cruelty often leads to escalating acts of violence. A $500 reward is being offered by the Sheriff's Office and Brooks County Humane Society for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever did it, authorities said. A strong will to live Hall said Little Jim has "lost a lot of skin" because of the burns and needs extensive care as he recovers. Blackie should be well enough to go home next week, if her feet continue to heal, she said. "Both these cats are such troupers. Little Jim wants to eat, and he purrs whenever they wake him up," Hall said. "Blackie purrs and wants to be loved and love on you." Hall said she would have euthanized both if she hadn't believed that they had a strong will to live, and had a good chance at recovery. "They're fighters and deserve a chance," she said. "That someone could do this to innocent animals, it's just unthinkable," Parten said. "We want to do what we can to help them." Hall hopes making the kittens' plight public will prompt tips leading to the arrest of whoever hurt them. "They need all our help," she said. How to help - Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the Brooks County Sheriff's Office at (229) 263-7558. Tips also may be left online under the "Anonymous Tip Center" link on the Sheriff's Office Web site: www.brooks-county.org.

Comments

  • Jan AllenJan Allen DallasMember Posts: 2,596
    edited 17 February, 2011
    How cruel some people can be. Purring for the little ones to recover.:((
  • Sarah_PinkSarah_Pink Chapel HillMember Posts: 153 ✭✭
    edited 17 February, 2011
    Those poor kitties! Some people are absolutely horrible! Hopefully the vets will be able to save the two that are still alive. Please keep us updated on the situation if you can. Sounds as if those two have fighting spirits.
  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 17 February, 2011
    How sad, and bless the vet for taking such good care of these kittens and trying to save them. Only regret that when the creatures who did this (they do not deserve to be called "human") are found, they could have done to them what they did to the kittens. Angry Purrs, Louis Armstrong, Emma Barrett, Benny Grunch, Pete Fountain and Charmaine Neville
  • Peggy McConnellPeggy McConnell Near JacksonvilleMember Posts: 14,727
    edited 17 February, 2011
    :((|/a/|:((|/a/|:(( UPDATE ON LITTLE JIM & BLACKIE Little Jim, an affectionate 8-month-old tabby, died Monday at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center where he was being treated for severe injuries from being tortured with fireworks and set ablaze near his rural South Georgia home. The kitten had third-degree burns over 50 percent of his body Dec. 20 when he crawled home to his owner who took him to Baytree Animal Hospital in Valdosta. Veterinarian Amanda Hall provided emergency treatment, then transferred Little Jim to the veterinary medical center in Gainesville. \"We\'re all just heart-broken,\" Hall told the Times-Union. Little Jim was in a medically induced coma to control the excruciating pain while being treated in preparation for multiple skin grafts and surgeries, said Hall, who was in daily contact with university veterinarians. \"He was such a sweet kitten. Little Jim had a big battle ahead of him, and he fought it well, but it was just too much for him,\" Hall said. Little Jim died shortly before noon. Veterinarians tried to resuscitate him, said Sarah Carey, medical center spokeswoman. \"They did everything they could for him,\" said Carey, who noted the kitten\'s doctors were mourning. Little Jim\'s sister, Blackie, suffered third-degree burns on her feet, belly, face and head. Hall had to amputate a portion of Blackie\'s ears because the burns were so severe. Blackie is recovering under Hall\'s care at the animal hospital. She will undergo surgery today to clean up some of her wounds, Hall said. \"Blackie is really doing well. But I think Blackie will be in the hospital a little longer than I initially had anticipated. I want to make sure everything is going all right before I release her,\" Hall said. The kittens\' owner, Jim Ragan, couldn\'t be reached for comment. An automated telephone message stated his voice mailbox was full and couldn\'t accept any messages. Hall was on call when Ragan, who lives about 5 miles away in neighboring Brooks County, took Little Jim and Blackie to Baytree. Two day later, one of Ragan\'s neighbors brought in his kitten that also had been severely burned like Little Jim and Blackie. Fluffy, the 4-month-old long-haired kitten, was so badly injured Hall had to euthanize her the following day. Hall believes a sparkler or Roman candle was inserted in the cats\' rectums and they were doused with lighter fluid and set on fire. A reward was increased to $3,000 Monday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever tortured the kittens, said Sgt. Keith Anderson of the Brooks County Sheriff\'s Office. Anderson has posted fliers announcing the reward, offered by the Sheriff\'s Office and county humane society, in the area near the Brooks-Lowndes County line where the cats were attacked. We have not received any contact through our tip center about this case so far,\" he said. Whoever is arrested will be charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty, each punishable by one to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine, Anderson said.
  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 17 February, 2011
    Thanks for the update. We still think rather than prison, just do to the "creatures" exactly what they did to the kittens, and DO NOT give them any medical attention. Would save alot of time and money for the county. Angry Purrs, Louis Armstrong, Emma Barrett, Benny Grunch, Pete Fountain and Charmaine Neville
  • Sarah_PinkSarah_Pink Chapel HillMember Posts: 153 ✭✭
    edited 17 February, 2011
    That's really sad about little Jim. :(( I'm glad that Blackie's future is looking a little happier.
  • Lily PlantLily Plant Member Posts: 11
    edited 17 February, 2011
    I'm speachless. I can't believe someone would do that to an inocent animal!!! It's so sad! I swear some people are just so cruel, it makes me sick!
  • Molly StrothkampMolly Strothkamp MesaMember Posts: 1,381
    edited 17 February, 2011
    This case of cruelty is SO disturbing. It's good to see the reward for information has grown from $500 to $3000. Sending lots of purrs to the two angel kitties, to Blackie, and to their families.
  • Kerry CookKerry Cook Lindenwold /Cherry Hill/ ClemeMember Posts: 14 ✭✭
    edited 17 February, 2011
    :(( This is so horrific & just absolutely senseless! This is why my humans prefer animals to people because they could never be so cruel & malicious. We're hoping that Little Jim & his sister are able to recover & we pray that Karma catches up, & quickly, to those responsible for this terroristic assault. We realize that there are many, especially in the south-eastern states, who are cat haters (this is something they are taught from their elders & some have hatred of cats due to their religious beliefs), but to do this sort of thing speaks volumes of human depravity & is a sign of a psychotic mind. I pray the poor baby who wasn't able to be saved had a peaceful passing |/a/|& is able to play & love without pain. I hope that those who may know anything about this will contact the authorities because this sort of thrill kill & abuse could get worse & the abuse may encompass not only more animals, but people. Me, my kitty siblings & our humans send much love & healing thoughts to those kitties & their humans. :^:
  • Gina GroneGina Grone Beatrice, NebraskaMember Posts: 217
    edited 17 February, 2011
    Our hearts are broken... There are no words to express the sorrow and anger we feel here. It\'s frightening knowing that there are people out there who could do such a horrific thing. Purrs and love from me, Milo, Macie and mom for the little ones who have passed and the one still surviving.
  • Annette GastelumAnnette Gastelum Anaheim HillsMember Posts: 1,835
    edited 17 February, 2011
    no animal deserves that.. What a horrible thing ti happen to loving kitties..We are so sorry for little Jim, Blacky and the othe little one that needed to be put down. That's just unacceptable. I recently helped my grandpa rescue a kitty that was not being treated well anymore and left to fend for him self. He was such a loving a sweet kitty. He could have been a victim like these kitties if grandpa hadn't stepped in..|:||:||:| We are purring for them all!
  • Peggy McConnellPeggy McConnell Near JacksonvilleMember Posts: 14,727
    edited 17 February, 2011
    ********UPDATE********** Teenager arrested in torture, burning of kittens Two kittens died; third recovering from injuries in December attack A Georgia teenager faces felony animal cruelty charges accusing him of torturing three kittens in Brooks County with fireworks, dousing them with gasoline and setting them on fire in a December attack that horrified investigators and animal lovers. Cory Ward, 17, was arrested without incident Monday afternoon on three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals in the death of two of the kittens, and in the disfigurement of the third, Brooks County Sheriff Mike Dewey said. Ward was jailed without bail awaiting arraignment by county Magistrate Joyce Miskiel. In Georgia, 17-year-olds are considered adults in criminal cases. Each count of aggravated animal cruelty is punishable by one to five years in prison, a fine up to $15,000 and restitution. Dewey said veterinary medical costs for the kittens, that were 8 months and 4 months old when attacked, total about $16,000 so far. The kittens, Little Jim, his sister, Blackie, and Fluffy, were owned by two of Ward’s neighbors in the Eagle Run Trailer Park off Troupville Road near the Brooks-Lowndes County line, investigators said. Ward, who has no criminal record, was arrested following an intensive investigation by Sheriff’s Office detectives, who followed-up a variety of tips from concerned citizens, Dewey said. “We appreciate the many individuals who came forward with information and offers to help with the medical costs and with the reward money,” Dewey said. In the arrest warrant, detectives said at least one of the kittens had a firecracker inserted in its rectum, and it was set on fire after being doused with gas. Hall suspected a sparkler or Roman candle was used in a similar fashion to torture the kittens. Fluffy died of her injuries Dec. 23. Little Jim died Jan. 5 at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center in Gainesville where he being treated for third-degree burns over 50 percent of his body. Blackie is recovering at Baytree. Next week, the plucky black-and-white kitten will undergo surgery at the veterinary medical center in an effort to aid her healing. “She is going to have implants put under her skin to stretch the skin. Because of the scar tissue on her belly, she can’t walk well. But the implants will allow his skin to stretch as he heals and grows,” Hall said. Blackie suffered third-degree burns on her feet, belly, face and head. Hall had to amputate a portion of Blackie’s ears because the burns were so severe. “Blackie is doing great. She is so sweet and affectionate but she acts like she is in charge and runs the place,” Hall said. The investigation continues and additional arrests are possible in the case, he said.
  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 17 February, 2011
    Thanks for the updates. However, when we read the fines, etc. that will be given to these "creatures", we STILL feel they should have done to them what they did to the kittens. Of course, they would not receive any medical care.....let them find out what real suffering is about. The kittens who went to the Rainbow Bridge have one consolation....they will NEVER see these creatures up there, as they are going in the OTHER direction. (We borrorwed this from another CATSTER member who made the statement in another Forum) and thought it most appropriate in this case. Many, many purss and headbonks to the vets and staff who gave medical care to the kittens, the people who came forward with information and all those who helped these helpless little babies. Angry Purrs, Benny Grunch, Emma Barrett, Louis Armstrong, Pete Fountain and Charmaine Neville
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 17 February, 2011
    As an American living abroad, these kinds of news stories seem...very American.
  • Donna GarrettDonna Garrett OrlandoMember Posts: 41
    edited 17 February, 2011
    Midnight's mom talking: This makes me SO MAD!! I can't even SEE a cat without talking to it and trying to pet it! How could somebody hurt one like that?? And a dumb teenager did it! I swear if my son did something like that he wouldn't be able to sit for a week!
  • Stephanie ChangtuStephanie Changtu MiamiMember Posts: 1,175
    edited 17 February, 2011
    It makes me so angry, every time you hear a story like this, it was done by a teenager.
  • DONNA KELLY-BIRCHDONNA KELLY-BIRCH kenoshaMember Posts: 1,018
    edited 17 February, 2011
    Too bad he can\'t get the chair for this. This is one sick, twisted and disturbed monster!!:(( Our purrs go out to the families of all three cats, and we send healing purrs to the survivor.
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