Abandoned cat is groomed after being left with 4.5 lbs of matted fur
Animal shelters often have to deal with animals left behind from all manner of circumstances. A lot of the time, it's just a case of someone getting too old to be able to look after their pet, but there are cases of serious neglect or abuse. However, a recent case of animal neglect was on the stranger side.
Early one morning, the staff at the Douglas County Animal Care & Services in Gardnerville, Nevada, discovered something left on their doorstep. Shelter supervisor Liz Begovich found an animal carrier with a bundle of fluff inside. "All we saw was a matted mess," Liz told The Dodo.
Their first guess was that, under the thick matted fur, it must be a dog - as they tend to be less attentive with their grooming than cats. However, once they opened up the carrier, they discovered it was a cat.
"We couldn’t turn him around because of the way he was shoved in the carrier,” Liz said. “So we took the top off and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a cat!’ I’ve never seen a cat in that sort of condition.”
The cat was barely able to move under the mass of tangled hair, and likely due to this, he had become overweight. Presumably, his previous owners, had allowed him to eat and drink to stay alive, but had left him trapped by his own fur.
“We immediately took him to the vet where they sedated him. They shaved about 4.5 pounds of hair off of him. It filled a full-size kitchen trash bag.”
“Once the hair was off, he was walking around. I saw him looking up at the counter thinking, ‘I can jump up there.’ I thought, ‘No you can’t.’”
Soon after, the cat regained his confidence and was full of life, no doubt happy to be mobile once again. Due to he dreadlock-like appearance of some of his fur, the staff named him Bob Marley.
Luckily, this story has a happy ending, as the ten-year-old cat now has a loving home. According to Douglas County Animal Care & Services' Facebook page, he was adopted within a few days of being discovered.
Authorities are currently making inquiries to find his previous owner, who was caught on surveillance footage dumping Bob behind. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's assistance in identifying this person, even going so far as to offer a reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest or conviction.
It is possible that the person who left Bob behind wasn't the owner, but someone who had discovered the animal elsewhere. Liz, however, has some doubts that this is the case:
“Normally, when someone leaves an animal after hours, there’s usually more to the story. It’s typically not a Good Samaritan who found an animal on the side of the road.
"We would really like to know the backstory. There could be other animals in this house, wherever this cat came from, who are in the same condition.”
If the man in the CCTV footage is responsible for the neglect that this animal faced, hopefully he will found swiftly and made accountable for his actions.