|Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report|
This was Figaro the cat, chilling out last spring at All Hours Animal Hospital in Moore.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: October 11, 2012
MOORE, Okla. – Six months ago, we brought you the story of a black and white cat named Figaro.
And while Figaro was learning to walk again and garnering a lot of attention after his story made it into the local media, sadly, he died a few months later, before he was well enough to be adopted out to a loving forever home.
Talking with Dr. Jackie Puterbaugh, the lead veterinarian at All Hours, she said Figaro suffered from the equivalent of a stroke and died, back in early summer.
“We’re not sure if it was associated with the trauma he suffered” at the hands of the abusers, she said.
Asked if she had heard any updates on the perpetrators of the violence against Figaro, Puterbaugh said “they never did anything” – meaning that the Midwest City Police Department did not arrest anyone and the D.A. did not file charges against them. Puterbaugh has said that Oklahoma’s weak laws regarding cruelty to animals is at the root of the problem.
As Puterbaugh told Red Dirt Report back in the spring: “When these sorts of things occur, it’s difficult for animal control to do anything. Your problem is with the legislature.”
Sadly, these are the sorts of things Puterbaugh and her team tends to see, working with domestic animals like cats and dogs. For instance, stepping away from performing surgery on an injured cat from Siloam Springs, Arkansas, Puterbaugh introduced us to an injured pit bull named Diamond. This friendly pup was trying to regain use of its back two legs after being hit by a car. If a kind person hadn’t saved Diamond, it is likely the dog would have died needlessly.
While Puterbaugh conceded that pit bulls can be “a dangerous weapon,” she puts a lot of the problem on owners – people who want aggressive, strong “guard dogs,” animals that are usually kept in cruel conditions, like attached to a chain and given little opportunity to be loved and properly cared for.
Puterbaugh handed this reporter a brochure for an anti-chaining group called Dogs Deserve Better. It lists suggestions on how to get aggressive dogs not to bite or fight by showing how they can be treated well, thereby making them happy.
Notes the brochure: “Bring me into our home and family. Fence our yard. Take me for walks, it will be great exercise for both of us. Housetrain me and take me to dog training classes. Make me part of the ‘pack.’”
But back to Figaro. Red Dirt Report had hoped the lovable cat would heal and live a long life. Sadly, that did not happen and from all we have learned, the blood clot that killed him was likely attributable to the vicious treatment he received at the hands of that family in Midwest City.
We hope to follow up on this by asking legislators what they intend to do to strengthen Oklahoma's animal cruelty laws. Stay tuned.
Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report