Lucky is getting the medical treatment she has needed for more than one year, but it is putting a strain on a Northwest Valley animal shelter’s budget.
The female cat was found with more than 20 wounds near Lake Pleasant and taken to 4 Paws, 11126 W. Michigan Ave., Youngtown, to see if they could help, according to Sun City West resident Scott Mitzner.
“The guy who found the cat and brought it into Sun City 4-Paws Pet Rescue is very allergic to cats, but could not believe what he was seeing,” Mr. Mitzner stated in an email.
Angie Grams, 4 Paws office manager, said her first reaction was there was nothing the agency could do. But on reflection, she changed her mind.
“She is such a great cat, considering all she has been through,” she said. “She is worth saving.”
The cat was found one year ago and had lived with and been cared for by a woman who recently passed away, according to Ms. Grams. When originally found, the cat was taken to a veterinarian in Wickenburg who suggested leaving the BBs in the cat’s body. X-rays showed BBs were scattered throughout the animal’s body.
“People shooting pets for fun is sport in Arizona,” Mr. Mitzner stated.
However, an exam in the last few weeks indicated the BBs should be removed, especially one behind the cat’s eye that could lead to cancer, according to Ms. Grams. The animal was to have been examined by a surgeon during the weekend and a decision about surgery was to be made at that time. The results of that exam were not available at press time.
The medical care for Lucky is a heavy burden for 4 Paws to bear.
“4-Paws will bust their budget on this cat,” Mr. Mitzner stated.
For that reason, 4 Paws officials are taking donations at their Youngtown location and Ms. Grams set up a GoFundMe account. Visit www.4pawsrescue.org or facebook.com/4pawscatrescue, or call 623-583-1824.
Ms. Grams said 4 Paws officials see a number of abused animals come to their shelter.
“It’s not weekly here, but I’m sure other shelters see it more often,” she said.
In the 2014-15 fiscal year, 36,047 animals were taken to the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter, 4,033 of those being cats, according to the agency’s annual report posted on its website, www.maricopa.gov/pets. That was a 6 percent decrease from the 2013-14 fiscal year. Of the total number, 18,560 animals were strays picked up by MCACC officers, a decrease of 10 percent from the previous year.
Of the animals taken in, 4,384 were returned to their owners, 11,360 were adopted and 11,550 were transferred to other shelters, and 8,324 animals were euthanized, according to the report.
Just how many of those animals were abused is hard to determine, according to Melissa Gable, MCACC public information officer. Animal cruelty cases are handled by the law enforcement agencies in the individual municipalties and the county, she said.
However, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office handled 289 animal crimes in 2015, according to information on the agency’s website, www.mcso.org. While sheriff’s officials saw decreases in animal crimes for several years — 522 in 2012 to 304 in 2013 — the 2015 figure was higher than the 269 in 2014, according to the site.
MCSO’s animal cruelty investigative unit annually receives thousands of animal cruelty reports to its hotline, according to the MCSO website. Specially trained detectives investigate every call. These investigations have resulted in the rescue and seizure of thousands of abused and neglected animals and produced hundreds of arrests.