Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19419
Classification: Burning - Fire or Fireworks
Animal: cat
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Animal was offleash or loose
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Thursday, Dec 22, 2011

County: Jackson

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 1 files available

Alleged: Name Undisclosed

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

The appearance Thursday of a severely burned cat at the Best Friends Animal Hospital was enough to bring several staff members to tears.

The orange, year-old feline, named Meshach by clinic staffers, was found in Eagle Point at about 4 p.m. Thursday.

Meshach, named after a biblical character thrown into a fire, was brought to the veterinary clinic for severe burns on his face and beneath his tail, his fur blackened in several spots and his eyes swollen almost shut.

Those who have examined the injuries don't think they were from a house fire. The pads on Meshach's paws were untouched, and he had no respiratory issues, making it appear the attack was intentional.

"Some kind of a flammable liquid got on him and then ignited," said Lori Slate, Best Friends manager.

The injured cat showed up on the porch of Eagle Point resident Michael Finn. It was a stray Finn described as very affectionate that had been coming and going for several weeks.

"It was the sweetest cat. It was just horrifying to think someone could do something like that," Finn said.

Finn's wife, Summer, called Jackson County Animal Control, which picked Meshach up and transported him to Best Friends.

"We were crying, pretty much. We gathered around him," Slate said. "We all just sort of started talking, 'How could this happen?' "

The veterinarians cleaned Meshach's wounds, spread ointment on his swollen eyes and gave him pain medication and antibiotics.

After resting and eating, Meshach has responded to the treatments.

"He eats like a horse," said veterinarian Margarita Garcia, adding that Meshach can now clean himself and hold his head up.

He has a good chance at survival, Garcia said. "Right now I think he's fine."

Meshach is the second animal to be named by Best Friends staff after a biblical character tossed into a furnace who survived. Shadrach, a mixed-breed dog that was blinded by a wildfire last year, also was treated there. Shadrach was later adopted.

Veterinary staffers are hopeful a similarly happy ending is in sight for Meshach. They believe they already have found a place for him.

Until then, they said, he just needs to keep healing.

Case Updates

A Shady Cove teenager was arrested Friday for setting a cat on fire in December.

The 17-year-old male, who is being held in the Jackson County Juvenile Community Justice Building, was not identified.

The boy was arrested at 12:50 p.m. Friday without incident and cited for first-degree aggravated animal abuse, a class-C felony, police said in a news release.

Officials wouldn't comment on how they tracked down the suspect because the case is still under investigation. Police said the suspect may not have acted alone.

"There could be other people involved," said sheriff's office spokeswoman Andrea Carlson. "At this point it's definitely a possibility we're looking into."

A $5,000 reward had been offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of parties responsible for the cat attack. The reward fund came from Sanctuary One Animal Shelter and the Humane Society.

The arrest stemmed from an incident late last year in Eagle Point. Residents Michael and Summer Finn had been feeding a stray cat that kept showing up on their front porch. On Dec. 22, the cat showed up with severe burns on his face and under his tail.

Police suspected the fire had been set intentionally with a liquid accelerant because the paws were not burned and the cat had no respiratory issues that are common when an animal is caught in a structure fire.

The Finns transported the cat to Jackson County Animal Control officials, who transported it to the Best Friends Animal Hospital in Talent. Workers at the hospital named the cat Meshach after they treated its wounds.

Meshach was later transported to the Sanctuary One Animal Shelter, where workers say he is thriving.

"He's doing great," said Sansa Collins, Sanctuary One animal care manager. "He's just an angel. He climbs up on our shoulders and rides around like he's a parrot."

Collins added she's surprised at how affectionate Meshach is, considering the trauma he experienced.

"It's really a testament of animals' ability to live in the moment," she said.
Source: - Feb 11, 2012
Update posted on Mar 11, 2012 - 2:21PM 
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department has launched an investigation into how a cat was severely burned in December, police officials said.

It's a case that comes with a potential $2,500 reward from the Humane Society of the United States for anyone who offers information leading to the arrest and conviction of people involved in the burning.

The animal cruelty case stems from a Dec. 11, 2011, incident in which a stray cat showed up outside the home of Michael and Summer Finn of Eagle Point. The Finns had seen the animal come and go several times before and had fed it.

This time, the cat had several burns on its face and tail, along with some charred areas of burned hair.

The Finns coaxed the cat inside and took it to Jackson County Animal Control, where officials then transported it to Best Friends Animal Shelter in Talent to receive treatment.

The staff named the cat Meshach after a biblical character thrown into a furnace.

Meshach has taken up permanent residence at Sanctuary One, a nonprofit care farm in the Applegate dedicated to rescuing abused, neglected and endangered domesticated animals. He is expected to make a full recovery, officials there said.

Investigators said anyone with information about the case should call 541-774-6800.
Source: - Jan 6, 2012
Update posted on Mar 11, 2012 - 2:13PM 


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