On the same day one man faced a bail hearing in a disturbing case of animal abuse that left a cat clinging to life with 17 pellets lodged in its head, police said they had a second man in custody and will also face cruelty charges.
The plight of Joe the cat shocked animal lovers around the world. The cat was found a few weeks ago dragging itself along a southwestern Ontario roadway badly injured. A veterinarian removed all but one of the pellets, and also had to remove one of its eyes. Despite a few rough days after surgery, the Sarnia & District Humane Society said in an update on Facebook that Joe is recovering from the ordeal.
“Joe is eating extremely well and we are very optimistic that the worst is finally behind this little guy. As you can see, he is not looking his best, however please remember he is on the mend We thank you once again for all your support and well wishes, Joe will remain under the care of the team at Blue Cross (Veterinary Hospital) for the next few weeks and unfortunately cannot receive any visitors,” the humane society wrote.
Meanwhile, animal welfare advocates (including about 20 people who appeared outside the local courthouse Wednesday demanding tougher penalties for animal abusers) were buoyed by the news of the arrests. Police in Sarnia, Ont. said they had arrested a 20-year-old local man who will be charged with one count of wilfully causing unnecessary suffering and one count wilfully injuring and animal. The unnamed man is currently in police custody.
The news came the same day a 19-year-old Sarnia man was released on bail conditions in the case. Police said on Feb. 14 that they also found Oxycodone pills, Codeine and marijuana when they executed a search warrant. Christopher Hammond, who faces two counts of animal cruelty, two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of a controlled substance, was released on conditions that he not possess – or be around – any domestic animal unless a surety is present, according to the Sarnia Observer. He is to be back in court March 19.
“This case gained national and international attention” says Sarnia Police Staff Sergeant Scott MacLean told AM980 radio last week. “The community around Sarnia has been fabulous at notifying us of a number of suspicious activity of people, and we’ve been able to eliminate a number of them. They [the tips] keep bringing us back to the party that’s in custody right now. We’ve had some indication that this party didn’t act alone, so we’ll continue down that portion of the investigation right now.”
Photo Sarnia & District Humane Society/Facebook