RIVERSIDE, Mo. -- Veterinarians at a Northland animal clinic call the torture of a kitten on of the worst cases of animal cruelty they've seen, saying that the kitten was shot, burned and kicked.
"She was clearly tortured and left for dead, " said Roger Bowles about the tiny, brown kitten he found last month bleeding, under weight and whimpering in his backyard in Gladstone.
"She was helpless. It looked like she had been kicked in her rib, burned and I had no idea she'd been shot," Bowles continued.
That's exactly what happened to the little kitty according to veterinarians at the Northland Animal Welfare Society clinic in Riverside.
Vets at the Northland Animal Welfare Society say someone intentionally burned the greenish-yellowish eyed kitten on her hindquarters, ears and tail with an unknown chemical and repeatedly kicked it.
What's more, investigators say the torture didn't end there.
"We also found that someone shot her in her neck with a pellet gun. The pellet is in a sensitive area so we have to leave it lodged in Tiny's neck. It's just too risky to remove it, " said Todd Foltz, the manager at the NAWS clinic.
"I just hate to see it. We all do. It broke my heart, " said Ashley Malino, a vet tech at the NAWS clinic, who's also caring for the injured kitten at her home in Blue Springs.
"She is responding well to the medicine and the treatment. She's gained a lot of weight since the abuse. However, she now has an enlarged heart as a result of her injuries and her growth has been stunted for life, " added Malino, who says she will eventually adopt the kitten.
Meantime, everyone at the Northland Animal Welfare Society clinic knows the culprit who torched Tiny may never be caught. They're just glad Tiny, many now call a strong survivor, is slowly bouncing back.
"She will be okay. I also have her mother in my backyard running around after I trapped her and got her spayed. I told her that her baby will be okay, " said Bowles with a smile.
"Yeah, she may not live pass five years, but at least we have her now and we can still enjoy her," added Foltz.