Pensacola, Florida (PNJ) -- When members of the Escambia Animal Advocates heard about Valiente,
the abused young cat who was found earlier this month after being burned alive and bound with zip ties, they knew that they couldn't stay
"You get that little sick feeling
in your stomach," said Jan Papra, a member of the nonprofit dedicated to
helping animals in the community. "I think we just didn't want to turn
our heads to it. We couldn't look away; we couldn't ignore it. It just
had to be dealt with."
have come up with a $1,000 reward for anyone who can provide
information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or
persons responsible for abusing Valiente, and the reward could continue
to grow as more people donate.
is a heinous act and somebody should be punished for that," said Sharyn
Berg, one of the group's founders. "People need to know that they can't
get away with this kind of behavior."
said that if nobody comes forward with information within three months,
the money will be returned to the individuals or, if they choose,
donated to the Humane Society.
Animal Advocates members are working with the Humane Society of
Pensacola, where the cat was brought after it was found limping around
near the 7900 block of Mobile Highway on March 16.
has been in the care of the Humane Society ever since, and she is still
recovering after suffering second-degree burns to her back, lacerations
to her side and having her feet bound with zip ties.
a checkup on Tuesday, Dr. Mark Sprayberry of Olive Branch Animal
Hospital on North Davis Highway said that Valiente is doing well overall
but still has at least several weeks of recovery left. Sprayberry said
that he's hoping to perform surgery next week to help some of Valiente's
burned skin tissue heal.
"I really just wanted to do one surgery, but it looks like it's going to have to be in stages," he said.
Valiente also is expected to lose both ears, said Sarah Humlie, managing director of the Humane Society of Pensacola.
Humlie said that she filed a report with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office on Monday.
excited that the community cares enough to try and prosecute animal
abuse," Humlie said. "And I think that putting a reward out there trying
to motivate people to come forward and speak out when they see abuse
happen is nothing but a good thing for our community."
Valiente is still on antibiotics and painkillers, but Humlie said she is healing well and staying strong.
"Her spirits are still really high," she said.