Vets think cat was doused with boiling water or chemical agent - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Vets think cat was doused with boiling water or chemical agent

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ATLANTA, Ga. -

It's hard to fathom -- veterinarians say someone poured boiling hot water or some sort of chemical agent on an innocent animal, burning it so severely, it nearly died.

The cat's name is Phoenix. He was found wandering in a Lawrenceville apartment complex on April 24 with half his body badly burned.

The resident who discovered Phoenix called the nonprofit, FurKids, Inc. and brought him to the Russell Ridge Animal Hospital. "Someone wanted to hurt him. Someone wanted to hurt him and kill him," said Samantha Shelton, CEO of FurKids

Doctor Brad Miller of Russell Ridge Animal Hospital, was taken back by the severity of the burns. "There was a lot of hair loss, there were open wounds, there were actually maggots in his wounds so he was in really rough shape," said Miller.

At first, the vets weren't sure if Phoenix would survive, but he's shown steady progress.

He's been getting antibiotics, pain medications, and laser treatments to help heal the wounds.

Shelton says in all the years she's been working with animals, she's never seen anything like this. "We've saved over 10,000 animals and this is the worst case of cruelty we've seen."

That's why she's desperate to find the person who did this to Phoenix. "Whoever did this, this is a red flag, this is a warning sign, that they are going to amplify and increase and harm people." She went on to say, "...data shows that individuals that harm animals actually will go on to harm people, to harm our children."

But Phoenix is a neighborhood stray. Residents in the area would feed him and take care of him. That's why finding the person responsible will be difficult. However, Shelton says there are usually witnesses in these types of crimes. And she's urging those people to come forward.

The Gwinnett County Animal Enforcement Unit has taken up the case. Officers are conducting an investigation. There is a $500 reward being offered for information that leads to an arrest. That dollar amount may go up, as other nonprofit's hear about this case and contribute to the fund.

"It's maddening and it's heart breaking. You don't see this, we don't see this every day. But we know it happens to some degree, every day and so it really tugs on your heart to know that animals are going through some of these situations for no reason," said Dr. Miller.

Phoenix will undergo a couple more weeks of treatment. But he is expected to survive. Dr. Miller says he's fighting hard. "He's tolerating everything that we're doing and deserving of a good home."

For more information on adopting Phoenix, or to donate to his medical bills, CLICK HERE.

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