“Chicago’s Most Famous Cat” Driver On TV and on the Mend; Man Accused of Scalding Him Due Back In Court

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By Samme

Driver wears a sporty red bandanna and stylish eye protection while receiving laser therapy. (Picture: Facebook/Felines and Canines)

Driver is now pain free and receiving ongoing laser therapy as he continues to rebound after suffering a near-fatal scalding two weeks ago. He also made his first televised appearance Friday on NBC Channel 5, where he was introduced as “Chicago’s most famous cat.”

Driver is held by an NBC newswoman while Abby Smith explains that Driver will make a full recovery. The man accused of scalding Driver was due back in court Friday. (Screngrab: NBC News)

A pot of boiling water was poured on Driver by a man who allegedly lured the cat to his back porch before assaulting him and videotaping the attack that was posted on social media. The accused man, Leon Teague of Chicago, was due back in court on Friday. If found guilty of animal torture, he could go to jail for a minimum of one year and could serve up to five years in jail. Driver was badly scalded, but survived and was rescued by two women who found him and brought him to Felines and Canines of Chicago for life-saving surgery and therapy. The Chicago area animal shelter has spent $6,000 caring for Driver. Executive director Abby Smith said Driver should make a full recovery and has been a wonderful patient. “He’s incredible with people,” said Smith. “He holds no grudges.”

She also said that she was grateful that Driver’s case and the problem of animal cruelty “is being taken so seriously.” Felines and Canines has been posting photos of Driver on their Facebook page. “Driver decided if he has to get laser therapy, he’s going to look like one seriously cool cat while he’s doing it! He knows how to rock some shades and a bandanna!” read the post with Driver’s photograph. Driver also posed for this photo, in which he appears much more alert.

Driver the cat is looking much better in this photo posted this week on the Facebook page for Felines and Canines, the Chicago shelter where he underwent surgery and was given painkillers and antibiotics to help him recover from his severe burns caused by having a pot of boiling water poured on him. (Picture: Facebook/Felines and Canines)

Driver is “receiving many different treatments for his burns,” and has a good appetite, which is an excellent sign. This photo was accompanied by another post from Smith, who has been asked by the police not to comment on the case: “Unfortunately, I cannot give any other information, but I can share this picture!” She also added this postscript: “Also, it has come to my attention that there are several fraudulent GoFund Me pages set up in Driver’s name. There is only 1 legitimate link to our organization for his care. Thank you so much for your support and good wishes.” If you want to donate or learn more, click on this for the right link.  

Teague has been charged with felony animal cruelty in connection with the attack. Police issued a press release stating that officers came to Teague’s residence after they were alerted to the disturbing Facebook post that went up on the social media site around 10 p.m. the day of the attack, the Sun Times reported. Chicago resident Heather Weidmann saw the video and called a friend, and said “We have to rescue this cat,” according to report on CBS News. Three days after the cat was burned, they found him in an alley and took him to Chicago’s Animal Control unit, and later to Felines and Canines.

Teague’s Facebook page is under the name “Glock Boy MurDoc,” according to Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti. The video shows a pot of boiling water on the stove. A male’s voice is heard luring the cat on to the back porch into the camera’s view. Next, an arm is seen pouring the water on the cat while the man taunts the animal. The video records the cat as it runs in panic and howls.

Police were alerted to the video by animal advocates and came to Teague’s building where they saw the cat, but were unable to catch it, the Sun Times reported. Teague told the officers he knew they were there because of the video and he had been waiting for them to arrive, his police report said. Once inside, officers recognized the layout of the apartment from the video. Teague has appeared in court in Cook County and been barred from using social media and all contact with animals while he awaits trial. His bail was set at $10,000.

Leon Teague, 18, has been charged with animal torture, a felony, and animal cruelty, a misdemeanor. (Screengrab: NBC News Channel 5)


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