Cat owner caused horrific injuries after deliberately pouring boiling water on his pet
A man who deliberately poured boiling water on his pet has been banned from keeping animals for ten years. Against the odds, Shadow survived and has been rehomed by the RSPCA.
The cat was left in excruciating pain for at least five days before he was rescued and taken to the vet.
The man pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences when he appeared before Magistrates in Crown Square, Manchester on 23 August.
The court heard how his cat Shadow, aged 7, had extensive scald wounds across his head, neck, shoulders, body and legs and was unable to walk on his feet which were also affected by the burns.
As well as the ban on keeping all animals for ten years, Porter was also given an 18-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and was fined £260 and ordered to pay £260 costs.
Porter claimed the cat had hooked his tail around a boiling kettle which then fell on him - but an independent veterinary expert said evidence showed the injuries were caused by the water being deliberately poured on Shadow.
The RSPCA were called to the address on January 19 2020, following concerns from a member of the public who reported that Shadow was suffering from serious injuries for a number of days and had not been to the vet.
There was no reply at the address so another RSPCA inspector telephoned Porter but he refused to hand over his cat despite confirming he was injured and 'in excruciating pain'. Porter said he was making his own veterinary appointment for the following day.
The following day, the RSPCA checked with Porter's vet and found out an appointment had not been made so inspectors Catherine Byrnes and Helen Chapman returned to the property. This time Porter brought the cat to the door and agreed to hand him over for veterinary treatment.
Inspector Byrne said:
The poor cat had extensive untreated wounds across the whole of his body and on his face and ears. It appeared to be raw scald wounds and was clearly visible amongst the cat's fur. The skin seemed to be slothing off in places and an area of dried tissue was visible on the cat's back. I could see the cat's fur falling off in clumps.
Mr Porter claimed that the cat called Shadow had 'knocked over' a kettle and that the hot water had fallen on him. He stated that he had no money to take the injured animal to a local vet and agreed to allow us to take him for treatment.
Shadow was rushed to Wendy Lane Vets in Rochdale by the RSPCA where the full extent of his injuries were revealed.
They found Shadow had scalding across many different body regions, including his head, neck, right shoulder and side of the chest while some of the claws on his feet had fallen off.
Inspector Catherine said:
When I took the cat from the pet carrier I noticed lots of fur coming off the cat and some that had fallen off inside the basket. The wounds were quite extensive, the largest of which was on his back and down his right side with some wounds obscured by his coat.
There was a strong smell coming from the wounds. There was a wound behind the cat's right ear, the skin and fur was falling off in a thick piece and I noticed puss underneath.
Also noticeable now was a large raw scald wound extending from the inside of the pet's right front leg across his chest to the inside of and down his left front leg. Shadow also had scalding on his feet and pads. The cat was walking gingerly and shaking his feet. The vet pointed out that the pet was also missing some toenails. It was obvious that the cat was in awful pain.
The vet sedated the cat and clipped his coat which exposed the full extent of his wounds. His wounds were cleaned and he was placed on a drip in an isolation pod to recover.
Amazingly, Shadow has gone on to make a good recovery and has been adopted into a loving home.
He had to have the tip of one ear amputated as it was severely burnt. There were fears he may also lose his right eye but fortunately, this was not necessary.
He now has to wear a special vest to stop him from scratching his healing wounds but is enjoying his new life as a house cat. His new owner says he loves nothing more than to cuddle and show affection. He was terrified of men for many months but has now become more trusting and is enjoying life.
An independent veterinary expert told the court the injuries were caused deliberately.
The vet said:
Unusually significant scalding had also occurred to the underside of the chest, inner aspect of both forelimbs and all four feet. The scald pattern is not consistent with the alleged accidental mechanism. Shadow would have suffered as a consequence of the scald injuries. Suffering would have been experienced by this animal via mechanisms of pain, skin irritation and distress for a period of at least five days, possibly longer.
The offences the man pleaded guilty to:
'That on a day or dates between the 15 January 2020 and 23 January 2020 you did cause unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely a black cat called Shadow, by doing an act namely scalding the cat with hot liquid and that you knew or ought reasonably to have known that that act would have the effect of causing unnecessary suffering or be likely to do so. Contrary to section 4 (1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
That on a day or dates between the 15 January 2020 and 23 January 2020 you did cause unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely a black cat called Shadow, by failing to do an act namely the provision of proper and necessary veterinary care and attention for his injuries and that you knew or ought reasonably to have known that that failure would have the effect of causing unnecessary suffering or be likely to do so. Contrary to section 4 (1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.'