$5,000 reward offered in animal abuse case

This is a sad story, so get ready.

This story highlights the senseless cruelty that sick, weak people inflict on helpless animals. This sort of thing happens somewhere everyday and always elicits a gut-level revulsion on the part of anyone whose mind isn’t a cobweb of confusion or whose moral compass isn’t spinning like a top.

This is the story of Thomas, a four-month old kitten who was buried up to his chest in newly poured concrete and left to suffer and die by someone who deserves to be removed from society. When he was discovered the following day, he had to be chiseled out by the young man, Andrew, who had poured the cement the day before and left for the day. Thomas had to have been placed into the cement while it was still wet. That means Thomas was likely struggling to free himself for 18 hours as the cement hardened around his frail body.

All of this took place in Colorado City, Arizona, a small community about a 45-minute drive from Best Friends that has received dubious national attention as the home base of Warren Jeffs, convicted felon and head of a polygamist community.

Best Friends has provided free spay/neuter and emergency vet care to residents of Colorado City for years, so a local resident called Best Friends and we sent someone to meet up with Andrew and rush Thomas to our clinic.

Our medical staff, joined by members of Best Friends maintenance department, worked side by side to remove as much of the hardened concrete from Thomas’ fur, face, legs and eyes as possible without doing more harm to him. Our vets, who over the years have attended to many animals who have been victims of car accidents, cruelty cases, chemical burns and worse, have never been so distressed as they were by this case and the trauma inflicted on innocence.

Thomas was stabilized and treated to relieve his pain, but sadly, he had to be euthanized a few days later.

Through the 28 years of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, we’ve seen thousands of animals in their final hours and minutes. But there was something particularly unnerving about seeing this helpless, adorable kitten in such a state, and then realizing that we could not undo what someone else had done. There was small comfort in knowing that we were able to provide him with some kindness and compassion in his final days.

So now what?

We’ve received comments and messages of concern and condolence about Thomas from people around the world. But the person or people who did this to a sweet, young cat are still out there and we want them brought to justice, as would any decent human being.

Thomas is no longer with us, but his spirit is very much entwined with ours. Best Friends is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) responsible for this act. We hope a cash reward will prompt someone to come forward in Colorado City to identify the perpetrator.

Our only desire now is that whoever it is that inflicted the violence on Thomas will soon be arrested and brought to justice. If you are reading this and know something about Thomas and the events that brought about his death, please contact the Mohave (Arizona) County Sheriff’s Office at 800-526-1911.

Anyone capable of such a sadistic act is a danger to other animals, to children, and to the entire community. Protect your family and protect your pets. Don’t turn a blind eye to cruelty.

Gregory Castle