This is a cat story which bridges polarised attitudes and behaviours in relation to the domestic cat; on one side there is horrible abuse and on the other beautiful care.
Benny (his new name) was seen initially at Long Beach Animal Care Services by a lady, Beverly Leifer, who was there to investigate animal abuse. Benny was being held as evidence. At that time, Benny was showing the effects of traumatic abuse by an unknown person. He had a misshapen jaw and his lower lip expose his teeth. He walked poorly (see video but this is after surgery) with a stop-motion gait and his nose was wider than normal due to damaged nostrils.
There is a Facebook page about Benny and his rehabilitation – Justice for Benny the Cat. They have, unusually, published on their page the Los Angeles County District Attorney Charge Evaluation Worksheet in relation to the criminal investigation regarding Benny’s injuries.
It’s been redacted in order to hide the name of an alleged perpetrator who is probably a young person. I say this because the person providing evidence about how the injuries were incurred is a very young person himself at five years of age. At that time Benny was called Eli. It is said that the alleged perpetrator slammed/hit/struck Eli using the shower. This implies Benny was grabbed by his hind legs and then slammed against the hard shower wall. It was felt that to ask the child to provide evidence would harm him/her and they stopped the investigation.
SEE THE CHARGE EVALUATION WORKSHEET:
Also the young person who provided the evidence recanted it and it was decided that evidence was not good enough to prosecute and therefore the case was dropped. This left the long journey of rehabilitation, repair and surgery for Benny which was carried out under the auspices of a non-profit cat rescue called Helen Saunders CatPAWS.
While they were able to fund the surgery, Beverly (mentioned above) agreed to foster Benny. They worked as a team and this sweet cat is gradually finding a way forward after a deeply traumatic early life.
When he was first seen by veterinary staff they started to cry because it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen. One of the veterinarians was shaking with anger as he debriefed Deborah Felin, one of the founders of CatPAWS.
“He wants to play with the other cat and he loves people. You wouldn’t know by looking at him that he went through this terror. But at night, or if he’s in deep sleep, he kicks and punches and thrashes. I honestly believe he has nightmares.” – Beverly Leifer.
It would have been nice if there was justice for Benny but it looks like it will never happen and all that decent people can do is love him and make his remaining years as pleasant as possible.
Source: Long Beach Post News.
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