Abused kitten dies

Published 11:50 am Friday, June 3, 2011

A 7-week-old kitten that suffered extensive injuries in a brutal assault that police blame on a 12-year-old boy died early Friday morning, city officials have announced.

The kitten was being kept in a foster home to be nursed back to health following the attack. The foster family notified Suffolk Animal Control just after 1 a.m. that the unnamed kitten was experiencing difficulty breathing. It was rushed to an emergency veterinarian, but died soon after it arrived, according to a press release from Suffolk spokesperson Debbie George.

A kitten that had been brutally attacked on Saturday died early Friday morning in foster care.

The kitten had been scheduled for adoption today.

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According to George, a necropsy will be performed to determine whether the kitten died as a result of the injuries it received in the attack.

According to police reports, some children had been playing with the 7-week-old kitten Saturday afternoon when the 12-year-old boy, whom police have not identified, came up, grabbed the kitten and threw it against a wall.

He then began to beat the kitten with a stick before pulling out a pocketknife and saying he would cut it, George said earlier this week. At that point, another boy knocked the pocketknife out of the first boy’s hand.

Thinking it was dead, the other children then put the kitten in a box and Animal Control was called to the scene.

The alleged assailant was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. On Friday, George said that charge could be increased to a felony if investigators determine that the kitten died from its injuries.

The story has attracted widespread interest, resulting in hundreds of people expressing a desire to adopt the kitten, according to George.

“The Suffolk Animal Shelter currently has 18 kittens that are in need of good homes,” she stated in the release. “We encourage those with the willingness to help the injured kitten to consider giving good homes to the remaining kittens at the shelter in honor of the kitten that didn’t survive.”

Those interested in adopting can visit the animal shelter at 124 Forest Glen Drive. Adoptable pets are pictured online at www.suffolk.va.us/anml_ctrl/adopt.html.

To learn more about how to promote the humane treatment of animals in Suffolk, visit www.suffolkhumanesociety.com or call 538-3030.