A young cat found a week and a half ago after she was terrorized and left wandering around for a month, hobbled by a zip tie and burned, is doing well in her recovery, which is expected to continue for quite some time. A local group of animal lovers has now offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons who tormented and injured Valiente.
We shared Valiente’s story a week ago, in Cat Found Bound and Burned is Recovering. The story, in brief is this:
Valiente is recuperating at the Humane Society of Pensacola after a terrible incident that left her injured and lucky to be alive. Humane Society staff named the friendly girl Valiente, which means brave, because of the way she has coped with the abuse that injured her.
A couple saw the young cat, estimated to be about 6 months old, limping around their Pensacola, FL neighborhood on Saturday, March 16 and brought her to the Pensacola Humane Society for help. She had been doused with an accelerant and set on fire, with her legs bound together using zip ties. Lacerations on her side, and her burnt fur made it clear that she had been lit on fire, though no one is known to have seen the incident. Valiente’s fur has the feel of melted plastic, her skin is stretched tight, her ears are melted and shriveled, and her whiskers are gone.
It was announced today that Escambia Animal Advocates is offering the $1,000 reward in an effort to help bring some movement on the case.
“You get that little sick feeling in your stomach,” Jan Papra of Escambia Animal advocates is quoted saying in today’s Pensacola News Journal. “I think we just didn’t want to turn our heads to it. We couldn’t look away; we couldn’t ignore it. It just had to be dealt with.”
Sharyn Berg, a co-founder of the group said, “This is a heinous act and somebody should be punished for that. People need to know that they can’t get away with this kind of behavior.”
If no one comes forward with information within three months, donors will get the option of having their money returned or authorizing the group to donate it to the Humane Society of Pensacola, which is caring for Valiente.
Humane Society of Pensacola managing director Sarah Humlie filed a report with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office on Monday. “I’m excited that the community cares enough to try and prosecute animal abuse,” Humlie told the PNJ. “And I think that putting a reward out there trying to motivate people to come forward and speak out when they see abuse happen is nothing but a good thing for our community.”
Valiente had a checkup with the vet on Tuesday. Dr. Mark Sprayberry of Olive Branch Animal Hospital said that Valiente is doing well overall but still has at least several weeks of recovery left. Dr. Sprayberry hopes to perform the first in a series of surgeries to help Valiente’s skin heal next week. The burnt skin is cracking and will get worse before it gets better, although the surgeries will help in the healing. Valinte he will lose her stubby little ears, but her hearing is not affected.
Valiente’s caregivers have also learned that two of her legs were still bound when she was found so she had been walking/hopping as a tripod for about a month with untreated second degree burns on approximately half of her body.
The Humane Society reports that sweet Valiente is in good spirits.
Escambia Animal Advocates is accepting donations toward a reward for information of who terrorized Valiente at Valiente Kitty at YouCaring.com. They had collected over $600 when we checked earlier today.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Escambia County Crime Stoppers at 850-433-STOP.