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Luna's story of survival

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Luna and two other kittens suffered terrible injuries at the hands of an abusive owner... This is her story of survival.
This case is a long one, but it needs to be told for kittens; Biscuit, Maple and Luna. Each kitten suffered terrible injuries and despite the web of lies told by the offender to veterinarians and to his partner who also owned the kittens, medical examinations showcased the mistruths and the abuse the kittens had to endure. 

You can help the RSPCA fight animal cruelty by supporting RSPCA Cupcake Day in August, find out more here. 

Sadly, it all started on September 10, 2018 when a kitten called Biscuit was taken to Animal Emergency Service (AES) by the offender and his partner. The offender stated that Biscuit had fallen down some stairs and started sneezing blood and was quiet. The veterinarian noted that Biscuit had a mild nose bleed and mild right eye bleeding. The vet prescribed oral pain medication, stated to them to monitor the cat’s situation and recommended a check-up in two days’ time at their regular veterinarian.

By September 30, Biscuit was brought back to AES by the offender. He advised the veterinarians that the kitten had been caught in a door that was slammed shut and suffered injuries by accident. Whilst the offender and his partner opted to proceed with treatment for Biscuit’s sustained injuries, despite the veterinarians’ best efforts, Biscuit’s condition did not improve and he was sadly euthanased that night.

On October 13, the offender’s partner brought a kitten called Maple into a veterinary surgery. Her partner, the offender, had told her that Maple had fallen down the stairs and may have hit the railing on the way down. 

The veterinarian examination showed that Maple had breathing distress, a low temperature, fluid around the lungs and bruising of the lung with three fractured ribs on the right and one on the left.

The veterinarian referred Maple to AES for treatment and pain management. Maple was released to the original veterinary surgery two days later and released to the offender and his partner. 

On October 20, the offender and his partner returned with Maple to the vet for a re-check and Maple appeared to have improved. But, two days later, the partner presented Maple to AES with bloodshot eyes. The offender and his partner were concerned Maple had ‘fallen off the bed’. The veterinarian assessed Maple once again and stated that the kitten’s condition had been caused by fresh trauma causing bilateral hyphema and inflammation in the middle layer of the eye. Maple was hospitalised for treatment. 

Once Maple was released from AES to the veterinary clinic, the RSPCA was contacted about injuries that Maple sustained not being consistent with the explanations provided by the offender and his partner. RSPCA Inspectors began investigations and tried to make contact with the offender and his partner at their property. 

The third kitten to need medical attention

On December 4, the partner brought a kitten called Luna into AES and advised that she had fallen off the Christmas tree five days ago and was lame ever since. 

It was then that she explained to the veterinarian that her partner, the offender, had uncontrollable aggressive tendencies towards the kittens, usually when she was away from the home. 

Luna was examined by vets and it was found that she had breathing difficulties and was non-weight bearing on her right hind limb. Radiographs showed that Luna had sustained a fracture to her right hip and had a mild pneumothorax (collapsed lung). 

adorable luna waiting for a home

The veterinarian concluded that the injuries were consistent with trauma. Luna was hospitalised overnight and RSPCA Inspectors seized her the following morning.

luna the cat xray injuries

Our RSPCA veterinarian concluded that both injuries that Luna sustained had occurred at the same time, 24 hours prior to her admission to AES. Luna was kept on pain medication and rested to resolve her respiratory issues before surgery could take place. It was a long wait for poor little Luna, but surgery on January 3, 2019 was a success. A femoral head osteotomy was performed; removing the head and neck of Luna’s femur. This is a salvage procedure to alleviate pain and restore pain-free mobility to her fractured hip.

On December 5, RSPCA Inspectors executed a search warrant on the offender’s property. No animals were on site. The partner sent an email to AES the same day, stating that Maple had been rehomed. 

The partner explained to RSPCA Inspectors that on the two occasions Biscuit and Maple had both been injured she was not at home. She was only home when Luna fell from the Christmas tree.
 
The offender was interviewed and stated to the RSPCA that both times Biscuit was injured, it wasn’t his fault and the first incident with Maple was an accident. However, he explained that the second time Maple was admitted to vets, it was indeed his fault. The explanations that follow are hard to comprehend.

The offender explained that he picked up Maple and the kitten urinated on his clothes. He apparently went to throw Maple on the bed after this and the ‘trajectory of the throw’ went a bit off, so Maple hit the wall over the bed and fell. He never checked on the kitten again and his partner came home that night to find the kitten with new injuries. She asked what had happened and the offender did not explain. 

On the occasion that Luna was admitted to AES, the offender explained that he wanted to cuddle her but she wasn’t cooperative. So, he picked her up by the neck, took her to the laundry sink, where he proceeded to turn on the tap over her head, holding her down while she struggled. All because he wanted to ‘punish’ her for wanting to get away from being held. His partner found Luna in the bathroom that night and asked what had happened, to be told that he had washed Luna because she had faeces on her. 

The offender who owned Biscuit, Maple and Luna was prosecuted by the RSPCA. 

He was given 2.5 years’ probation, 150 hours of community service, ordered to pay $2,935.37 in veterinary and boarding costs, $1,100 in legal fees, a $99.55 summons fee and prohibited from owning animals for 5 years. No conviction was recorded.

The realities of Biscuit, Maple and Luna highlight just what a difficult, yet important role RSPCA Inspectors and vets play in society to not only save animals, but to also bring offenders to justice.

Being 96 percent funded by the community, if you’ve read this far, we need your help. 

You can help ensure we can continue to fight for animals just like these defenceless kittens… please, sign up this August to raise vital funds with RSPCA Cupcake Day.

Luna finds a loving new family

We are happy to say that Luna has been adopted into a loving, new home. Now, known as Lucy, she's having a great time with her new family.

luna the cat's new happy family

Above: Lucy's found a loving human sibling to call her own.

Lucy's adoptive family said, "We originally went to just take a look at the animals at the RSPCA in Wacol. After seeing Lucille, we knew we wanted to give her a good home."

luna playing in her new home

New dad Chris explained, "The adoption process was really easy. Lucille has since settled in as one of the family. She is very affectionate, well behaved, easy going and loves to get long pats." 

luna the cat in her new home

"It's hard to imagine we never had a cat earlier in our life until we got Lucille."

luna the cat in her happy home

It's always heartwarming for everyone at the RSPCA to see an animal come from such a terrible situation, to finally living the life they always deserved. But this is something we cannot do without your support.

Emma Lagoon
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