Tommy’s face is a living reminder of cruelty and kindness in equal measure. In the end, kindness won.
“Given what he’s been through, he was a very gentle, trusting patient,” said Sheena Novick, who changed Tommy’s bandages daily while he was being treated for acid burns at the Beverly Oaks Animal Hospital in Sherman Oaks, California.
Veterinarians believe someone poured battery acid on Tommy’s face, burning away his skin and eyelids. He was found this summer by a Los Angeles County woman who feeds stray cats. His rescuers took him to a veterinarian, who verified that he was also FIV-positive. After rejecting euthanasia as an option, Tommy’s rescuer found help at Milo’s Sanctuary in Burbank, who took him to the Beverly Oaks Animal Hospital.
“Tommy was in absolutely terrible shape,” says Katherine Agard, the PR director at Milo’s Sanctuary. The police were contacted, and there’s a reward offered for any information about the animal abuser who has been linked to similar attacks on area dogs.
Through it all, Tommy “was so brave, and purred and kissed the people taking care of him,” according to Michelle Hoffman, president and co-founder of Milo’s Sanctuary. He needed skin grafts and lost an eye. Eventually, he underwent facial reconstructive surgery. Slowly, he got better. And today he is a spokescat for abused animals. He will soon join Lil BUB and Nala at the Walk A Mile In Our Paws special needs cat show on Oct. 22 organized by Milo’s Sanctuary.
Today, Tommy Trueheart is looking and feeling a lot better. Here’s one of his latest photos, courtesy of the wonderful staff at Milo’s Sanctuary. He still needs veterinary care and is looking for sponsors, if you want to help.