(PNJ.com) - A young cat that was doused with an accelerant, set on fire and bound with zip ties over the weekend is expected to live, according to staff at the Humane Society of Pensacola.
A couple discovered the cat, who is estimated to be about six months to a year old, limping around their neighborhood on Saturday and brought her to the Humane Society.
The cat had lacerations on her side, her feet were bound with zip ties and her fur was charred from apparently being set on fire, although no one witnessed the incident.
Sarah Humlie, managing director of the Humane Society, said that the cat is expected to live, but they are still working with a veterinarian to evaluate the extent of her injuries and see if any plastic surgery will be necessary.
"We're kind of waiting to see how things heal and what's going to happen," Humlie said. "Because all of the skin that was burned is dying or going to die."
Humane Society staff members have named the cat Valiente, or Spanish for "brave," because of how well she's handled the injuries from the abuse.
Humlie said Valiente has been surprisingly affectionate toward humans, and she has been able to eat and drink without assistance.
"She's really holding her own," Humlie said. "She's doing well, but she's got a lot of healing to do."
Humlie said the cat's fur has a tough, melted plastic feel to it from being burned, her skin is stretched and tight and her whiskers are completely gone.
"Its poor ears are kind of melted and shriveled," she said. "The heat from the fire being so close is what caused so much of the damage on the cat."
The incident was reported to Animal Control on Saturday, but Humlie said that unfortunately they can't press charges without a witness to point out who is responsible for the abuse.
"Since nobody witnessed it and we don't know who did it, there's nothing we can do," Humlie said.
She said that is one of her biggest concerns.
"It just makes me sick that somebody is capable of that kind of cruelty," Humlie said. "I feel like if you can do terrible acts like that to an animal, you're one step away from doing that to a human."
Humlie said that unless problems arise during Valiente's recovery, she should be adoptable as soon as she is well again. But for now, Valiente will have a good home during her long road to recovery.
"Until she heals, we have somebody that's going to foster her in their home so she's comfortable and gets lots of attention and love while she heals," Humlie said.
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