Nelson the cat is recovering at the East Kootenay SPCA

Nelson the cat is recovering at the East Kootenay SPCA

Cat survives sick acts of torture in Cranbrook

Animal cruelty is widespread and common, even in the East Kootenay, SPCA says

Nelson is one tough cat. He is recovering at the East Kootenay SPCA after having survived a hideous act of animal cruelty.

Today, Wednesday, April 23, is Animal Abuse Prevention Day, and Nelson’s presence is a stark reminder that acts of animal abuse are widespread and commonplace everywhere, including here in the East Kootenay.

“We’ve seen some crazy things,” said Brenna Baker, Manager of the East Kootenay SPCA. “We want people to be aware that things like this are happening here.”

Baker said the BCSPCA started Animal Abuse Prevention Day in 2012 to get people talking about the subject, in the aftermath of the Whistler sled dog incident, in which an employee of a sled dog company was ordered to shoot more than 50 healthy dogs after a downturn in the business.

As for Nelson, what some human subjected him to almost defies belief.

“Someone stopped by on Thursday,” Baker said. “They said they had seen a cat by the side of the road. One of the staff went out there three times, and finally caught him, in a net. We rushed him to the vet.”

Nelson (named after Willie Nelson’s ‘The Highwayman’), had been shot in the head seven times with a pellet gun and had had his neck sliced at.

“The vet thinks someone had tried to cut his head off,” Baker said.

The good news is that Nelson will survive and recover, although he will forever be traumatized by the horrific event. He is already becoming more active, eating at his bowl of food and hissing at strangers who approach with cameras.

The bad news is that cases like this are not uncommon.

“There are many cases around here,” Baker said, adding that the local SPCA has one Animal Cruelty Officer who serves both the East and West Kootenays — a large territory for one. He is sometimes assisted by an officer out of the Okanagan, but they too are very busy up there, Baker said.

If you have any information on this case please call the East Kootenay SPCA at 250-421-7861.

Province-wide, the SPCA investigated more than 8,000 cases of animal abuse in 2013.

Nelson’s vet bills will be high — over $1,000 — and will include dental work. Anyone wishing to donate to help the SPCA cover the bill can call 250-426-6751. The SPCA is located just east of Cranbrook on Highway 3/95.

The SPCA will also be fundraising to get new stainless steel cages for its cats. A respiratory illness recently swept through the cat population, due to the existing old wooden cages, Baker said. Thus, no cats were available for adoption for two weeks.

The SPCA has a list of tips to help prevent animal abuse:

• Don’t be a bystander — Report animal cruelty to the BC SPCA’s toll-free hotline at 1-855-622-7722;

• Take responsibility for the animals in your life;

• Speak up for animals — send a message to your local elected officials to let them know how important it is to have strong animal protection legislation, as well as resources for animal cruelty law enforcement and prevention work;

• Teach kids that kindness counts;

• Learn about the violence link — Animals are often not the only victims of abuse. There is a strong connection between animal cruelty and other forms of violence such as bullying and domestic abuse.

For more information on the SPCA, including an online petition against animal cruelty, go to spca.bc.ca.

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read