Brownie – Now Gary – Gets Help After Losing Leg Due to Abuse

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Gary, 7/14/2013


A cat formerly called Brownie lost part of a leg after being chased and treated abusively by kids. A Good Samaritan, a vet, a foster caregiver and others are all helping Brownie to begin a good new life and leave his vulnerable existence on the streets of Baltimore behind.

Brownie was either tortured by kids or accidentally got his leg caught in the tether cord to blinds while running from the kids depending which version of the story is the actual case. Either way, he lost part of a hind leg inside an abandoned Baltimore rowhouse.

Veterinarians at Rocky Gorge Pet Hospital in Laurel will amputate the remainder of the damaged leg.  “The cat… Cats are amazing.  They can survive unbelievably,” said Dr. Sally Morris in remarks to ABC channel 2 news.

The channel 2 news crew visited the Southeast Baltimore neighborhood where Brownie was hurt and spoke to Esther Gorman, who says neighborhood children torment the stray cats.

“They were throwing rocks at the cats… chasing the cats,” she said.

“I couldn’t hold back.  I started crying cause these animals don’t hurt nobody, and the people around here are cruel,” said Gorman, “You know they don’t care.”

Channel 2’s version of the story has Brownie running from the kids and getting his leg ensnared in a blind’s tether cord while jumping through a window into the house to escape his tormentors.  The cord is said to have severed his leg before neighbors could cut him free.

Another version of the story has the kids presumably torturing the cat and hanging him from the cord.

Local cat group Feline Rescue Association has taken responsibility for the cat and is getting him the help he needs. The group says the details are vague but the kids are thought to have hurt the cat.

Brownie has been renamed Gary, short for Gary Garfield Cooper. He is being fostered by Joan Angiolillo, a Feline Rescue Association volunteer.

Joan told channel 2, “I will be fostering him. That’s one of the biggest problems that we have with rescuing cats off of the street is that we have no fosters for them. “So because this is an emergency situation, I said I would find room in addition to all of my other fosters to keep him so that he didn’t have to suffer on the streets anymore.”

In an effort to give the details while staying with what is known, the group shared this statement yesterday:

I just got back from having met with several of the people involved in Gary’s rescue. I also met one of the neighbors who feeds the cats and was involved in freeing Gary from his predicament. The circumstances are anything but clear.

All we really know at this point is:

1. Neighborhood children (and some adults) harass the cats in various ways.

2. Gary somehow sustained a very severe injury which resulted in his entire leg, including bone, being completely severed above the knee.

3. This neighborhood (which is actually within the [Baltimore] city limits and not technically in Dundalk) has inadequate resources to help companion animals and support their caretakers. This we seek to remedy.

Although we found what *may* be the other half of Gary’s upper leg bone cleanly severed on the ground near the window from which he was found hanging, we have no definitive proof that Gary’s injuries were directly or intentionally caused by the actions of any individual.

What we DO know is that thanks to the tireless efforts of concerned citizens and the overwhelming support we’ve received from our community and people around the country and probably around the world, Gary and others like him will get the second chance at life that they so deserve.

Gary is being picked up at 7:00 tonight [Monday] to go to his foster home and will be available for adoption in a few weeks. Pictures forthcoming! Thank you so much for caring and helping. Without people like you behind us, we could not do what we do.

– Lizzie Ellis, President
The Feline Rescue Association

A version of the story from July 15, which contains hearsay, goes as follows:

“Two weeks ago kids caught a friendly stray, hung him by his hind legs & began to torture him. A neighbor heard ungodly sounds coming from the abandoned house,investigated,freed the cat-who miraculously ran away,then she called the police. The kids parents defended them,and in spite of the neighbor being an eye witness-without the cat-the case was closed-at least for the kids. A few of us searched for the injured cat, he was no where to be found… Tonight the caretaker informed me the injured cat has returned for feeding but he’s walking on 3 legs because one of his back paws is gone.”

After three days of trying to trap him, Brownie (now “Gary Garfield Cooper”) has finally been apprehended and is currently at the emergency vet this evening receiving antibiotics and pain medication. His leg (with ample bone exposed) will be assessed while he is under anesthesia tomorrow. He likely will require surgery and potentially further hospitalization to treat what we imagine is widespread infection.


Gary had the surgery to cleanly amputate what remained of his leg.  The surgery went without incident, and Gary tested negative for feline leukemia. Though the area where he lost his leg looked bad, the infection was not as extensive as feared.

Feline Rescue Association wrote at Facebook last night, “Gary is safe in his foster home and all set up in his crate. It was difficult to get a good picture of him and his foster mom didn’t want to scare him with the flash. Tonight she’s just going to let him relax but will get more pictures and a better idea of his personality tomorrow.”

Gary has reportedly shown a docile demeanor that may help him find a good adoptive home.

Monies raised by Feline Rescue Association at the  Gary “Garfield” Cooper the maimed cat donations page at gofundme have already well surpassed the group’s initial modest goal.


1 thought on “Brownie – Now Gary – Gets Help After Losing Leg Due to Abuse”

  1. It never ends……….so dam sad. Hope Gary gets a loving forever home. A perfect example of why humane education needs to begin in pre-school and made mandatory by first grade. Also we need tougher laws that are ENFORCED! No deals!!!!!

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