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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Heroic Little Kitten, Fiendishly Run Through a Wood Chipper by Some Devil, Loses His Nineteen-Day Struggle to Live

"All things were possible with cats because some people seem to regard them as fair game for any cruelty."
-- James Herriot, Cat Stories

The news out of South Dixie Animal Hospital in West Palm Beach over the weekend was nothing short of heartbreaking. It is, in fact, almost too sad to even relate. Chipper, a tiny, ten-week-old orange and white kitten (See photos above and below) who on June 20th had been fiendishly run through a wood chipper by some unknown devil, lost his struggle to live and died suddenly Saturday afternoon in his sleep.

Chipper's front legs and neck were broken in the assault and his right eye and head were also injured. After his arrival at the hospital, Dr. Salvatore Zeitlin (See photo above) operated on him three times in order to save his life and a fourth procedure had been planned to repair damaged skin on his head.

Considering the extent of his injuries, he had made remarkable progress toward making a full recovery. He had regained locomotion somewhat and was eating on his own. Zeitlin was justifiably encouraged. "He just gets stronger and better with time," he told Fort Lauderdale's South Florida Sun-Sentinel on July 3rd. (See "Kitten Survives Tumble Through Wood Chipper.")

Three days later Chipper took an unexpected turn for the worst and started having seizures. These attacks, which continued throughout the day, caused him to become non-responsive and forced the hospital to insert a feeding tube.

Being the fighter and brave little kitten that he was, Chipper rallied Friday and was almost back to his old self. He continued to improve Saturday right up until his stout little heart unexpectedly stopped beating. A post-mortem later revealed that he had died from an abscess deep inside his brain.

"He really inspired us here with his courage," Zeitlin told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on July 11th. (See "Mauled in Wood Chipper, Kitten Dies from Injuries.")

Once the mass media picked up his story, more than eight-hundred people from around the world made inquiries about Chipper with one-hundred of them offering to give him a home once he recovered. Malheursement, the only home that this beautiful and brave little kitten is going to see now is a burial plot on the grounds of The 10th Life Sanctuary in Clewiston, eighty-eight kilometers west of West Palm Beach.

This sad story began at 9 a.m. on June 20th when the Sanctuary's Maury Swee received a telephone call from an unidentified woman in Boca Raton informing him that Chipper had been badly mauled two hours earlier when some unidentified person had turned on a wood chipper while he was sleeping inside.

Not believing one word of the woman's lies, Swee nonetheless agreed to come and pick up the kitten since the woman insisted that she had neither transportation nor money for veterinary care. Furthermore, in order to protect herself from animal cruelty charges, she insisted that Swee meet her at a gas station rather than at her house.

It took Swee an hour to reach Chipper and another twenty minutes to deliver him to Dr. Zeitlin in West Palm Beach. All totaled, Chipper was forced to go without medical assistance for three-hours and twenty-minutes! The pain was so excruciating in fact that he cried out every few minutes on the way to the hospital.

Since Chipper was in such sad shape both Swee and Zeitlin briefly considered finishing what the monster who had run him through the wood chipper had started but, being lovers of life rather than merchants of death, they quickly ruled out that option and elected instead to do everything humanly possible to save him. They almost succeeded.

Chipper is gone now but his $5,000 medical bill remains. In order that they may continue to help injured cats in the future, Swee and Zeitlin are accepting donations at The 10th Life Sanctuary, P. O. Box 970456, Boca Raton, FL 33497 and South Dixie Animal Hospital, 6510 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405.

Although he has not publicly commented on the matter, it is hoped that Swee will pursue bringing Chipper's assailants to justice. Anyone who would put a kitten through a wood chipper does not deserve to go on breathing.

Of course, with more than seven-hundred cats to care for at his five-acre sanctuary (See photo below), Swee may not have either the time or resources to pursue the matter. In that event, it is hoped that other animal protection agencies will bring Chipper's murderers to justice.

Absolutely nothing is known about the first eight-weeks of Chipper's short, tragic existence; he could have had a home or he may have been feral. His last nineteen days were pure hell filled with excruciating pain but he at least went to his grave knowing that he had the love and compassion of both Swee and Zeitlin. That is not much but it is something.

Chipper's memory can best be served by bringing his assailants to justice and by significantly strengthening the animal cruelty statutes. A cat's life -- or that of any animal for that matter -- is no less precious than human life and should therefore receive just as much protection from the law.

Good-bye, Chipper. You will be missed but never forgotten.

Photos: Danny Ghitis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Chipper) and The 10th Life Sanctuary (cats lounging on shelves).