A cat set alight and described as a fireball is the worst case of cat abuse he has witnessed, says a Keysborough vet.
The feline had been brought to Keysborough Veterinary Practice, South Eastern Victoria, suffering critical injuries after being “doused in some sort of accelerant- probably petrol or kerosene”. It had been set on fire behind Parkmore Shopping Centre late one Saturday night in a horrific act of animal cruelty.
Dr Chris Boemo treated the cat which had “lost a lot of skin progressively over three or four days”, and he had believed the animal “may well survive”, despite substantial injuries.
The cat remained unclaimed and was eventually euthanised, “because of the condition that the cat might eventually suffer from”, said Dr Boemo in reference to incontinence.
The offenders were not identified and could not be charged.
Abuse such as this is not common as “most people respect their animals”, according to Dr Boemo.
In Victoria 2014-2015, over 3,000 felines received by the RSPCA were euthanised, including 527 cats which were euthanised due to medical reasons, such as the prevention of suffering as in the case Dr Boemo cited.
RSPCA Victoria investigated over 10,000 reports of animal cruelty between 2014 and 2015, with the state having the highest rate of charged offenders nationally.
According to the RSPCA’s most recent statistics published in August, over 1,600 reports of cat welfare concerns have been received in the 2015-2016 period so far.
The RSPCA employs Inspectors authorised under the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act‘ who are responsible for the investigation of reported abuse and the enforcement of the Act, according to Animal Welfare Policy Manager Mhairi Roberts.
If members of the public witness animal cruelty they are urged to report it to the RSPCA, “we strongly encourage people to report cruelty to us,” said Ms Roberts.