Tiny Cherry knew only pain and fear … until Inspector Shelly came into her life

November 16, 2018

When Inspector Shelly first attended a Paralowie house in February last year, she was saddened to find a number of terribly thin cats and kittens wandering around the property, with little access to food or water.

Most troubling, though, was a kitten with a severe eye injury.

“When asked how the kitten had hurt her eye, the owner casually explained it was due to the spike of a palm tree piercing through the kitten’s eye,” says Inspector Shelly.

Cherry shortly after being rescued

Poor little Cherry suffers without treatment for weeks

Hidden under spikes and overgrown weeds was 3-month-old Cherry, refusing to leave her thin mother’s side.

Cherry’s physical pain was obvious, but the fear and confusion on her face broke Inspector Shelly’s heart.

Still, she seemed to innately know that we were there to help her.

Cherry being assessed by RSPCA veterinarians

Once in our care, veterinarians determined Cherry was suffering from a perforated cornea and a prolapsed iris. Sadly, nothing could be done to save poor Cherry’s eye, but our vets could still save her life.

Heart wrenchingly, Cherry had lived in this distressing state for a month prior to RSPCA South Australia getting the call to intervene.

Can you imagine the agony that poor Cherry must have been in?

“Penetration of the cornea is very painful,” RSPCA South Australia head vet Brad says. “Immediate treatment would have minimised suffering, and not to seek it is a failure of moral responsibilities of pet ownership.”

Thankfully, Cherry could receive the surgery and care she desperately needed, along with the nutrition that every growing kitten needs.

Jupiter after being adopted

While Cherry becomes ready for a forever home, our legal team works for justice in court

You’ll be touched to know that Cherry recovered at RSPCA Lonsdale and was adopted into a new loving family 26 days later.

Cherry (who has been given the cutest new name – Jupiter!) now spends her days sprinting up and down the hallway for hours chasing anything that rolls. Cherry also loves smelling flowers and being in the backyard so she can hide in the garden and spy on the chickens.

Jupiter lounging in her new home - photo Alex Beckett

To get justice for Cherry, our legal team worked hard on the case and finally, in Elizabeth Magistrates Court earlier this year, her former owner was criminally convicted of ill-treating an animal.

He received a six-month good behaviour bond and was ordered to pay $1,924 in veterinary costs. He was also banned from owning animals for two years.

As a charity 91% funded by community donations, it’s only thanks to the generosity of our supporters that we can prosecute people like Cherry’s previous owner.

A staggering 3,061 animals in positions that resembled Cherry’s were helped by RSPCA South Australia this past year alone. Those animals were forced to live in terrible conditions, were given little food or water, or were injured yet denied vet treatment. But thankfully, we could be there for them.

Cherry's before and after

From the bottom of our hearts, we’re so grateful to all our supporters who made Cherry’s recovery possible. If you’d like to continue helping animals just like Cherry, head over here to donate.

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