Elizabeth’s Healing Journey

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Elizabeth is healing


Readers may have seen the powerfully affecting picture of Elizabeth (included here at page bottom), the South Carolina cat receiving medical care at a veterinary hospital after being thrown into a fire by a 13 year old boy. Elizabeth is laying stretched out in the November 23 photo, looking charred, but with a strong gaze that reaches out to the viewer.

Elizabeth was brought to the Darlington County Humane Society in Hartsville, SC by her family, who told staffers how she was burned and relinquished her to the Humane Society’s care.

Elizabeth had suffered for a several days with her severe injuries untreated before she came to the shelter, but she was still able to make a connection with her caregivers there, who were touched by her spirit and felt she had the will to live and deserved a chance at survival.

The Darlington County Humane Society rushed Elizabeth to the vet, then posted a photo of her to Facebook, asking for a foster to come forward to take her when she was able to leave the vet.

That original post at Facebook was shared over 11,000 times. It appeared in many thousands of Facebook news feeds, brought a story in The Examiner, and got coverage for Elizabeth and her caregivers at WBTW13 News.

An Elizabeth – Thrown into a Fire fundraiser page at YouCaring.com was flooded with donations and appears to have received over $13,000, with more than 600 donor supporters.

Law enforcement opened an investigation on the case and have filed charges against the 13 year old boy.

Elizabeth’s caregivers are focused on her and her recovery.  She is receiving antibiotics and painkillers, and is already looking considerably better after just a few days.

The Darlington County Humane Society’s original post on Elizabeth at Facebook says, in part:

Elizabeth was brought to the shelter by her owner. The owner’s 16 year old neighbor threw Elizabeth into a fire last week. The owners found her yesterday and brought her to us for care. She is burned over the majority of her body – and was in incredible pain. Yet, she still purrs and head butts even when her painful burns are being cleaned. She is feluek negative. I cannot imagine the pain this cat has been through for the past week before she got to us and was put on pain meds and antibiotics.  We had a hard decision to make when she came in – euthanize her or try to make a difference for this abused sweetheart. We opted for the latter – we are hoping our community friends will support us in this endeavor and prove that we made the right choice for Elizabeth. Your support by rescuing, fostering, adopting, and donating gives us the ability to continue to make the difference for pets like Elizabeth.

An update at Facebook on November 25 states:

Sweet Elizabeth is at the vet today getting checked over and bathed to help her wounds. ALL of the staff say she is the BEST cat and doing great. We will have new pictures to post later on today. We ALL appreciate EVERYONE rallying around Elizabeth. When we first received her, we vacillated on what our next step should be….should we try and save her, or let het go. She seemed too strong and spirited for us to let her go. We felt she was telling us she was not ready to leave her earthly pet duties. Having SO MANY folks step forward and help us, help Elizabeth is beyond wonderful. With funds so tight, we are often forced to make hard decisions simply because we cannot medically care for all the pets who come through our doors. Elizabeth thanks you and we thank you!! We could not continue to do what we do without your support. You all are earth angels for Elizabeth!


The Darlington County Humane Society made an encouraging update on Elizabeth today, writing, in part:

Elizabeth continues to heal and is doing really well! Thank you ALL for your unbelievable support for this sweet little lady. She has touched many hearts and we are doing what we can to make sure she gets the care she so deserves

When we initially received her on Nov 21, we immediately took her to the vet and they gave her pain meds and recommended we find a foster home for her. Our first posting was for a foster home for her. As a rural, very small county facility we do not have central air/heat for the pets and we certainly did not have an appropriate area for Elizabeth to get better…hence our appeal on line for a foster home.

On Monday, Elizabeth was brought back to the vet. At this point, the vet decided she really needed to be under their care 24/7. Everyone at this facility LOVES her. Over and over they say she is the sweetest cat. She has many days of painful debriding ahead of her and possible surgery depending on how her skin is healing.

Charges HAVE been filed against the 13 year old boy who threw Elizabeth into the fire. Initially we were told the boy was 16. The family who owned this cat surrendered their cat to us on Nov 21 stating they could not care for it.

Oftentimes when we take in SUCH medically challenged pets at our facility, we let them go. We don’t have the funds to care for the pet and then we struggle to find a foster to care for them after their treatment. We also struggle with simply rehoming pets. We adopt VERY few pets and frankly rely mostly on rescues to save our pets, but it’s never enough. Elizabeth “spoke” on some level to the staff and she had a will to live. We did what we could to save her and it all began with a plea for a foster home.

Elizabeth has a safe spot to go to once she is well enough to leave the hospital. She will never want for anything again and will never be treated in such a brutal manner. She will be loved and dearly cared for. For those who were interested in opening your home to her, PLEASE look at the cats who are still in need at the shelter and need YOU!! …yes, you to bring them home! (http://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?location=29550&animal=Cat&primary_breed&distance&pet_name )

For those of you who are new to the Darlington Shelter, we thank you for joining and helping Elizabeth and we encourage you to please come and visit us…if you can!! We are a county run shelter (Darlington SC) with a very high volume of pet intake and a very active team of volunteers who work overtime to try and save these pets. And for those of you who have been with us all along supporting us, we thank you as well.

THANK YOU ALL for your support and let’s work together to help save more lives. We’ll be posting another update on Elizabeth end of the week as she continues on her healing journey. Susan

For continued updates on Elizabeth, visit DarlingtonCountyhs Rescue at Facebook.

Darlington County Shelter Manager, Tyrone Baker spoke with a news crew from Channel 13 on Monday, saying: “Since I’ve been here, that’s about the worst that I’ve seen. We’ve seen some pretty bad wounds or animals being hit by cars, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I would definitely say that this is a 10.”

“The vet now is currently taking care of her and they’re doing the best that they can, I feel like this cat will, I believe it’s gonna make it…I think we should call her “miracle,” Baker continued.


Here is Channel 13’s report on the story:

WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

The photo of Elizabeth that rallied animal lovers to her aid.
The photo of Elizabeth that rallied animal lovers to her aid.


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