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PKG | Kitten recovers from severe abuse as investigators search for leads

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A kitten is at the Berkeley County Humane Society (BCHS) is recovering from life-threatening injuries, after she was found on Rock Cliff Drive with her two front paws zip-tied together, and a severely swollen right eye, trying to walk home.

The kitten’s name is Peaches, but staff at BCHS have nicknamed her Hope.

"I noticed that she had been zipped tied very tightly,” explained BCHS manager Brandi Bowers. “I couldn't even get my [surgical] scissors underneath them it was so tight. Her paws had swollen so much, the skin was over the zip tie."

Bowers rushed the kitten to a local vet, who was not only able to cut off the zip ties, but also removed two BB gun pellets from Peaches’ head.

Based on other injuries, the veterinarian and Bowers believe the kitten was tossed out of a moving car, and left to die.

"I've witnessed skinny dogs, skinny cats. You have very hungry animals come in, but never have I ever witnessed anything like this,” said Bowers. “It was instant tears for all of us, kind of a shock."

Thanks to the power of social media, the human society was able to locate Peaches' owner.

“I want to find whoever did this to Peaches, and prosecute them. This is ridiculous,” said Pam Craig, Peaches’ owner. “Why should you hurt an innocent animal? I just don't understand."

Craig told WHAG that she hadn’t seen Peaches in about a day, but that it wasn’t unusual for the kitten to wander around the neighborhood.

It wasn’t until Peaches’ photo turned up on social media that Craig even realized what had happened to her kitten.

Craig lives only a block away from where Peaches was found.

Officers with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department Animal Control have begun investigation Peaches’ case.

“Our investigator spoke with [Peaches’] owner, who reported that the cat never came home. He feels comfortable that she is telling the truth. At this point, it is an open and continuing investigation,” said Lt. Willie Johnson.

However, the case doesn’t stop with Peaches. Her story prompted at least one other resident to report another, similar animal abuse story to the humane society.

“We already knew about the second cat, and are checking on the same,” said Johnson.

According to Bowers, another cat was found only a few blocks away on Rock Cliff Drive from where Peaches was found.

“She had the same thing,” said Bowers. “She had something tied around her front paws.”

As authorities try to identify a suspect in both cases, staff at the BCHS say for now, they hope peaches can make a full recovery.

While Peaches has been making strides in her recovery, Bowers told WHAG that Peaches may lose her right paw and right eye as a result of the abuse.

Anyone who has any information is asked to call Berkeley County Crime Solvers at (304) 267-4999. If your anonymous tip leads to an arrest, you could get a $1,000 cash reward.

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