Vicious Attack on Sid Leads to the Creation of a Fund to Aid Four-Legged Victims of Domestic Violence
"So many times in domestic violence incidences, animals are abused by the perpetrators."
-- Vista Exline
The savage stomping to death of Sports Illustrated reporter Lisa Altobelli's cat, Norman, by former New York Mets' farmhand Joseph Petcka was far from being an isolated incident. (See Cat Defender post of November 10, 2008 entitled, "London Teenager, Convicted of Killing the HMS Belfast's Kilo, Also Is Unmasked as a Remorseless Liar and Drunkard.")
Disgruntled males often vent their spleens on their lovers' cats. Par exemple, on October 22nd a two-year-old brown cat named Sid belonging to twenty-six-year-old Brandy Henderson of Wheat Ridge, Colorado was bashed against the wall of a shower by her boyfriend.
Sid sustained a dislocated jaw and other unspecified injuries as the result of the unprovoked attack. The assault was so brutal in fact that it not only left him spouting blood from both his mouth and rectum but gasping for breath as well.
He was rushed to Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital where he was treated with pain medication and given intravenous fluids. At last report, he was out of the hospital and back home with Henderson although he still is only able to eat soft food and to take small sips of water. (See photo above.)
James Ian Whitlock, also twenty-six, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty and was being held in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. (See photo below.) He was scheduled to have appeared in court on November 7th but no follow-up stories have appeared in either the media or at pet-abuse.com.
As it is so often the case in these types of domestic disputes, both Whitlock and Henderson were pretty far along in their cups when an argument turned violent. (See Cat Defender posts of September 18, 2008 and November 24, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Drunken Brute Beats, Stabs, and Then Hurls Fifi to Her Death Against the Side of a House in Limerick" and "Kilo's Killer Walks in a Lark but the Joke Is on the Disgraceful English Judicial System.")
Although the specifics are not important, apparently Henderson locked Whitlock out of the house only to have him break in through a window and then attack Sid. Eyewitnesses also have reported that Whitlock sat on Henderson and tried to throttle her. Consequently, he also has been charged with a potpourri of ancillary charges that include extortion, menacing, and criminal mischief.
An admitted heroin addict, Whitlock also has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia in addition to drunk driving. Prosecutors and judges therefore have plenty to work with and if this cretin is not put away for a long time they should be summarily fired.
In spite of all that he has been through, Sid is fortunate in that very few felines survive these types of assaults. Nevertheless, Henderson was left with a $2,200 medical bill that she was unable to pay and the veterinarians were unwilling to forgive.
While there are numerous groups that come to aid of the victims of spousal abuse, no such organizations are known to exist that provide financial assistance to their abused cats. That glaring oversight got the good folks at Victims Outreach Information (VOI) of nearby Golden to thinking about how they could expand their charitable work to include cats as well as abused women.
It was out of those deliberations that the Sid Fund for Animal Crime Victims was born. So far, more than $400 has been raised which will go to four-legged victims of domestic violence in the First Judicial District of Jefferson and Gilpin counties.
"So many times in domestic violence incidents, animals are abused by the perpetrators," VOI's Vista Exline told The Denver Post on November 4th. (See "Cat's Ordeal Inspires Group to Help Animals.") "People in the community wanted to help (with Sid) but there is (sic) no mechanism for that to happen smoothly."
The establishment of funds to help cats and other animals who are victimized by domestic violence is a development that is long overdue. Injured animals should not be denied medical assistance simply because their owners are either unable or unwilling to foot the bill.
More to the point, humane undertakings such as the Sid Fund should not limit their compassion solely to the victims of domestic violence. Au contraire, these types of emergency funds should be made available for the treatment of any sick or injured animal.
In the final analysis, it is a disgrace that animals are left to the mercy of kindhearted groups and individuals. In any halfway decent society the law of the land would mandate that all veterinarians and physicians treat animals and individuals regardless of the size of their wallets.
To withhold such life-saving services constitutes the most blatant form of discrimination imaginable. This galling situation is made all the more reprehensible by the fact that in the United States there is a huge surfeit of trained medical personnel, equipment, and drugs.
Being as rich as Croesus, it would not kill veterinarians and physicians to do a little pro bono work from time to time. In fact, it should be mandatory, especially in light of all the taxpayer dollars that are doled out annually to the medical schools and research institutions.
Furthermore, there is something inherently perverse about a nation that has trillions of dollars to throw at imperialistic misadventures, tax cuts for the filthy rich, Wall Street crooks, and the automakers in Detroit but scarcely a sou for sick animals and the poor. Sadly, that is the way that Americans want it because it was only last month that they went to the polls and voted to maintain the status quo.
According to Eliza Mazzaferro of Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, Sid's prognosis is good. He nonetheless needs to monitored for brain damage and any internal injuries that he may have suffered.
Above all, Henderson needs to seriously consider getting herself a new boyfriend because as soon as Whitlock gets out of the slammer Sid's life will be once more in mortal danger. She also could do a far better job of taking care of him if she were to cut down on her own imbibing.
Photos: Special to The Denver Post (Sid) and Jefferson County District Attorney's Office (Whitlock).