Discussion: Who severely injured this Spokane neighborhood cat?

A Spokane, Washington neighborhood cat found with severe injuries and turned over to Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) on Tuesday afternoon leaves many questions as to how the cat was injured. I’ll break this article down into parts to give both sides of the story as well as updates. A discussion is likely as you give your thoughts in the comment section.

cat recovering
Recovering at SCRAPS. Investigation ongoing (Facebook SCRAPS)
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An anonymous Good Samaritan who wants to remain anonymous says he saw students tormenting and kicking the cat

The original post on the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services Facebook page stated how the cat, AKA “Achilles” was abused by elementary school students

“Achilles was brought to us today after suffering brutal physical abuse: the man who brought him to us found him being tormented and kicked by children in an alleyway. The finder, who chose to remain anonymous, recognized the children by face, identifying them as students of Logan Elementary on Montgomery Avenue, but he did not know their names.

He reported that Achilles has been a long-time community cat, who greets all he meets with affection. (Even after suffering trauma and major physical injury, Achilles purred and rubbed his head in our hands.)

Achilles’ pelvis was dislocated from his spine and his right hip was dislocated. His odds of recovering are 50/50–only time will tell if his body can and will heal, after which he’ll need surgery to repair his hip. We struggle to comprehend why anyone would want to hurt this sweet, innocent boy.

We want to make sure that this abuse does no go unaddressed, regardless of the age of the perpetrators. We need your help. Please if you have any information about Achilles’ abuse, email us at SCRAPS@SPOKANECOUNTY.ORG or call us at 509-477-2532.”

Karla Burns and her family call him Sylvester and she doesn’t think students are to blame

While this would appear to be an open and shut case involving young children, a Twitter post by Amanda Roley disputes what the Good Samaritan told SCRAPS.

“This is Karla. She says she and her mom were the first ones to find Achillies the cat. Her family calls him Sylvester and have been caring for him for years. She does not believe students are to blame for his injuries.

abused cat and his caregiver
Karla & Sylvester (Twitter Amanda Roley)

Karla says Sylvester has always stayed in the area he was found injured in and doesn’t wander. She and her mother were the first ones to find the cat injured around 11 a.m. Tuesday as he dragged his back legs toward them.

Mother and daughter were relieved when the Good Samaritan offered to take Sylvester for help. The man had passed the scene earlier and returned when he saw no one had stopped to help. Karla stated during an interview with KREM2 News

“He took [the cat] to SCRAPS, and I felt better, I felt like he was saved. Like, thank god he’s going to get help. He’s a beautiful cat, he’s wonderful. But, he’s always been a stray and he knows where the food is, so everyone in our neighborhood, our apartment complex feeds him. My mom’s been doing it for five years.”

young Sylvester
Young Sylvester (Karla Burns)

She said she doesn’t think the students hurt the cat.

Conclusion and latest update

But if the students (whom the man said he identified by their faces but didn’t know their names) didn’t injure Sylvester then who did? Leaders at SCRAPS say they’ll see a full investigation is done and the person who injured this poor kitty is punished. I would almost consider an animal attack except no mention of bite marks is made in any of the posts.

The latest update posted by SCRAPS on Saturday is encouraging

“Our boy is hanging tough. He is four days into his 4-6 weeks of cage rest, and, though he seems down at times, he comes to life for his visitors! He is just a total love monster. Love.Monster.

He is able to potty on his own (he even uses his box the best he can), and he’s eating–not as much as we’d like, but, when given chin and head scratches, he’ll take a few bites to appease us.


We will be getting updated x-rays around the 2-week mark, assuming he remains stable and comfortable until then. In the interim, we are giving him all the kisses.

We have told Achilles about your absolutely amazing support, and he is simply overwhelmed.  And, so are we.”

Anyone wishing to help financially may do so at the SCRAPS Hope Foundation link here.

Additional sources (updates will most likely be posted)

Amanda Roley Twitter

SCRAPS Facebook

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