A man deliberately poured boiling water over his pet cat, leaving him in 'excruciating pain'.
Ashley Porter, from Oldham, has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after inflicting the horrific burns on his cat Shadow. The 30-year-old tried to claim that his pet had hooked his tail around a boiling kettle which then fell on him, but a veterinary expert said evidence showed the injuries were caused by the water being deliberately poured on Shadow.
Shadow was left with horrendous burns on his head, neck, right shoulder and side of the chest after the incident in January 2020, while some of the claws on his feet had fallen off. He was left to suffer in pain for at least five days before he was rescued and taken to the vets, the RSPCA said.
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Manchester Magistrates' Court was told how the RSPCA were called to Porter's home in Shaw on January 19, 2020. A concerned member of the public reported that Shadow was suffering from serious injuries for a number of days and had not been to the vet.
There was no answer at the address so another RSPCA inspector phoned Porter, but he refused to hand over his cat despite confirming he was injured and 'in excruciating pain'. Porter said he would take Shadow to the vets the next day.
The following day, the RSPCA checked with Porter's vet and found out an appointment had not been made so two inspectors went back to his home. This time, Porter brought the cat to the door and agreed to hand him over for treatment.
WARNING: DISTRESSING IMAGES
Inspector Catherine Byrne said: "The poor cat had extensive untreated wounds across the whole of his body, and on his face and ears. It appeared to be raw scald wounds and was clearly visible amongst the cat’s fur.
"The skin seemed to be slothing off in places and an area of dried tissue was visible on the cat’s back. I could see the cat’s fur falling off in clumps.
"Mr Porter claimed that the cat called Shadow had ‘knocked over’ a kettle and that the hot water had fallen on him. He stated that he had no money to take him to a local vet and agreed to allow us to take him for treatment."
Shadow was rushed to Wendy Lane Vets in Rochdale by the RSPCA where the full extent of his injuries were revealed. Ms Byrnes added: "When I took the cat from the pet carrier I noticed lots of fur coming off the cat and some that had fallen off inside the basket.
"The wounds were quite extensive, the largest of which was on his back and down his right side with some wounds obscured by his coat. There was a strong smell coming from the wounds.
"There was a wound behind the cat’s right ear, the skin and fur was falling off in a thick piece and I noticed puss underneath. Also noticeable now was a large raw scald wound extending from the inside of the pet’s right front leg across his chest to the inside of and down his left front leg. Shadow also had scalding on his feet and pads.
"The cat was walking gingerly and shaking his feet. The vet pointed out that the pet was also missing some toenails. It was obvious that the cat was in awful pain."
Shadow's coat was clipped and his wounds were cleaned. He was placed on a drip in an isolated pod to recover.
The RSPCA said he has now made a full recovery and has been adopted into a loving home. He had to have the tip of one ear amputated due to it being severely burnt, and also has to wear a vest to stop him from scratching his healing wounds.
An independent veterinary expert told the court the injuries were caused deliberately. The vet said: "Unusually significant scalding had also occurred to the underside of the chest, inner aspect of both forelimbs and all four feet.
"The scald pattern is not consistent with the alleged accidental mechanism. Shadow would have suffered as a consequence of the scald injuries.
"Suffering would have been experienced by this animal via mechanisms of pain, skin irritation and distress for a period of at least five days, possibly longer."
Porter, of Ashworth Street, Shaw, pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences at Manchester Magistrates' Court on August 23. He has been banned from keeping any animals for 10 years.
He was also handed a 18-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months, was fined £260 and ordered to pay £260 costs.
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