Disturbing act of animal cruelty prompts warning from local vet, rescuers

The cat at the center of the case now has head trauma.

Rescuers, veterinarians warn pet owners about act of animal cruelty

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Local rescuers and a Cincinnati veterinarian are warning pet owners to be careful after learning about a disturbing act of animal cruelty in a Fairmount neighborhood.

A cat named Dagger is at the center of the case. Josephine Inman says her sister and her 12-year-old niece are Dagger’s owners.

Inman describes Dagger as an indoor cat but says he recently accidentally slipped out the door of her sister’s home along Everglade Place in Fairmount. When they finally found him hours later, Inman says Dagger was not far from their home, but was barely alive.

According to the family, someone had tied a retractable dog leash around the cat’s neck and then wrapped the leash around a tree, causing him severe head trauma.

“Why? Why my sister’s baby? Why my niece’s baby? Why put them through this? Was it worth it? Just why?” Inman said.

With the help of a local rescue, the Tri-State Noah Project, Dagger got medical care. After examining him, Dr. Jennifer Jaax says she was certain that Dagger’s condition was the result of an act of animal cruelty.

Dagger, who is around 2 years old, has not recovered from the head trauma. Jaax says it is difficult to say whether he will survive, but they are giving him a fighting chance.

She believes it will take time to determine whether his brain function will improve, which means for now, he needs critical care.

“Steroids, pain medicine, feed him through a syringe,” Inman said. “They have to stretch his legs, rotate his legs, do physical therapy every four hours.”

Dagger’s owners said they reported what happened to investigators and are hoping to see the person responsible held accountable. The Hamilton County Dog Warden has not said whether there is an open investigation.

Both Inman and Jaax are fearful other animals in the area could be targeted, so they are encouraging pet owners to take extra precautions.

“If it starts with animals, often it can escalate with people,” Jaax said.

Jaax adds dog owners should keep their dogs on a leash or in a fenced yard at all times, and she advises cat owners to keep their cats inside 24/7 if possible. If cats must go outside, she recommends spaying or neutering them so they are less likely to wander far from home.

The Tri-State Noah Project is accepting donations to continue to help cover the cost of Dagger’s medical care. Those interested in donating can do so online.

Those who want to donate can also call Jaax’s office Mon.-Thurs. at 513-793-5229 to make a donation by phone for Dagger under Tri-State Noah Project.

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