Caregivers Rally Round to Get Help for Wounded Colony Cat

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Residents of a Toronto neighborhood feed and look out for a colony of cats living in their midst, and noticed when beautiful, long haired Panda was missing for a couple of days. Panda is one of eight stray cats from the colony near Gerrard Street East and Broadview Avenue, in the East end of the city.

Panda returned on Tuesday, dragging her back end, and neighbors were shocked and saddened to learn she had been shot with a pellet gun. Panda was found in an alley, “covered in leaves and dragging his hind legs behind him,” John Young said Thursday.

Note: Panda is called a she is some comments and reports and a he in others.

John Young took Panda to an emergency veterinary clinic, where she was found to have at least two pellets embedded in her.  The cat has since been seen by two other vets.

Dr. Ryan Aguanno of Bay Cat Hospital acknowledged in an interview that he advised that Panda be euthanized. In remarks printed at CityNews Toronto, Dr. Aguanno said Panda was unlikely to regain control of her bowels and he does not recommend surgery because of the stress. He also said the cat would not do well outside again. Colony caretaker Abene Odure, in her on-camera remarks,  indicated that the hospital recommended putting Panda down unless money was raised for her care.

Abene Odure has fed Panda for 8 years, and fed her mother before her. She is caring for Panda at her home, where she administers pain medication to the injured cat 3 times a day, along with antibiotics.

Neighborhood residents have had their managed colony’s cats spayed and neutered.

A report broadcast on CTV noted that  Panda has control of her bowels and that is not expected to be a concern. Neighbors are taking care of Panda’s medical bills, and plan for her to have surgery to remove the pellets, in hopes that she might walk on all fours again. At present, she drags herself along using her front legs.

John Young and his roommate, Stewart Montgomery, paid $410 for Panda’s first two vet visits, and Alicia Zabaneh paid $160 for the third vet bill.

“As you can tell, we’re a close community,” Alicia Zabaneth told the Toronto Sun. “We’d raise the necessary funds to ensure Panda’s taken care of.”

The police consider the shooting a criminal matter, and OSPCA has reportedly opened an investigation into the attack.  Police reportedly initially said the fact that Panda is an unowned cat would preclude charges against the attacker, but in a later reversal, constable Tony Vella said, “It would be a cruelty-to-animals investigation, whether or not the animal had an owner.”

Abene Odure is quoted saying, “I really want this person to pay,” and “I really want the person to go to jail.”

John Young said, “This could be a psychopath in training.”

Despite her terrible experience being shot and the debilitating injury that has resulted from it, Panda has a community of compassionate animal lovers on her team.


The two video reports below cover the incident and Panda’s medical options. The second video centers on an interview with Abene Odure. Abene is soft spoken and a bit shy speaking on camera, so we have to listen closely, but her good heartedness and dedication to Panda are very touching.



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