Their injuries place significant demands on their rescuer’s resources, as burn victims need ongoing veterinary care due to the risk of infection. They also require experienced medical fosters, as caretakers may need to apply Silver Sulfadiazine on wounds, administer antibiotics and provide hydrotherapy.
The motivation for the non-profit rescue organization to assume so many heart-breaking and challenging cases was Mittens – a kitten who stole the heart of Baltimore and the nation as a whole. Mittens was the victim of a horrific crime, which occurred shortly after she gave birth to several kittens. A teenage boy in the home where Mittens lived took her outside on a balcony, restrained her under a milk crate, poured kerosene on her head and back, and threw a book of burning matches on her. Mittens managed to jump off the balcony and roll in the snow in a frantic effort to extinguish the flames that were engulfing her body. Astonishingly, she then returned to the home of her abuser to nurse her kittens.
Cindy fostered Mittens back to health, although her ears were burned off and she needed surgery to close a gaping wound on her back that failed to close. After recovering, Mittens became a therapy cat and started visiting schools, as well as the local Ronald McDonald house. Her courage captured the attention of the Maryland General Assembly, which passed several anti-cruelty bills, as well as the ASPCA, which named her the Cat of the Year in 2011. Thankfully, the teenager that tortured Mittens was held accountable for his brutal crime.
Mittens continues to visit schools and has also comforted girls who have been sexually abused. But her legacy is yet to come. Cindy has authored a children’s book entitled Mighty Mittens, which is making its way through the publishing process, and sends the message that, “It doesn’t matter how little you are, you still have a voice to help animals.”
When asked where she finds the strength to continue with this heart-wrenching work, Cindy said the answer was simple. “These animals are still happy, sweet, and affectionate, despite the horrific cruelty they have endured. They teach children so much about empathy and kindness.” Even though Cindy has a law degree and is an award-winning investigative journalist turned graduate school instructor, she admits that helping abused and injured animals is not just her passion, but her calling. She is currently fostering Russell and Marty, two cats who are recovering from gunshot wounds.
I really do think that these people do great work highlighting the plight of these animals and if you want to learn more about AARF, which helps all homeless animals, visit their website or Facebook page.
Garfield is copyright © Paws, Inc. If you like the cartoons we reproduce here on Jammy Toast, please consider purchasing some of the Garfield merchandise. These are available through Garfield.com where you can view them in full-colour and at a higher quality!