A yellow and orange kitten estimated to be about 8 weeks old has experienced more suffering than most cats do in nine lifetimes.
Two boys, ages 11 and 12, allegedly held down the kitten and poured gasoline on it before an unidentified individual set the cat on fire, according to a Macon police report.
The two boys, whose names are being withheld by the police because of their ages, were arrested Monday afternoon and have been charged with animal cruelty, police said. The incident allegedly took place in the 2100 block of Merriwood Drive.
The kitten received burns on the lower half of its body and may have suffered internal injuries.
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“We-one,” as he’s called at Macon Animal Control, is currently being treated at a veterinary hospital, said Animal Control Director Jim Johnson.
We-one, which has been receiving antibiotics since arriving at Animal Control, will be examined for internal injuries.
If he survives the burns, he will be kept at Animal Control as evidence.
“We’ve kept (animals) here seven months waiting for cases to be settled,” Johnson said.
After that he will be put up for adoption.
Paula Fuller, who works at Animal Control, is “100 percent” confident that if he survives, the kitten will find a home.
“He still loves us even though he should be terrified of people now,” Fuller said. “He just would love anybody.”
When he arrived at Animal Control, We-one looked traumatized, she said.
“When he first came in, he was very scared. You could tell he was in pain,” she said. But soon, workers had the kitten purring.
Fuller said cases involving young and defenseless cats and dogs that are hurt hit her the hardest.
“I’ve been here 10 years now. Some cases are harder than others,” she said. “You go home, you cry, you say a prayer, and you come back and do the best you can.”
She wasn’t the only one at animal control to find the case upsetting.
“I hate to think there are people who would do this to a little kitten,” Johnson said.
The kitten will not be returning to its original owner, he said.
“The previous owner did not get it medical attention when it happened,” Johnson said.
“You’re required to provide medical treatment for your animal the same as you would your children.”
For those looking to adopt stray animals, Fuller said, they can access animal control’s Facebook page “Ac Pup,” where the Macon shelter posts photos of animals up for adoption.