Two people responsible for a vicious attack on a Philadelphia cat have owned up to it and will hopefully face justice.
While the surveillance footage appeared to show a pair of men siccing pitbulls on a semi-stray cat named Buddy, the suspects are 17 and 12 years old respectively, according to the SPCA.
Investigators were able to ID the pair after getting leads from the public, and on Friday the 17-year-old came in accompanied by a parent to surrender himself to authorities. The 12-year-old has agreed to turn himself in today, March 26, according to the local NBC affiliate.
Authorities said they’ll charge the pair with animal fighting, aggravated animal cruelty and conspiracy for the unprovoked attack, in which they encouraged their dogs to hurt the much smaller cat. The first two charges are felonies.
However, there are caveats. Because the suspects qualify for youthful offender status, they cannot be tried as adults and may be able to wipe the convictions from their records in the future. Such deals are at the discretion of judges, and typically involve the completion of certain programs and require that the offenders stay out of trouble for a set time period after conviction.
Because of that, their names will be sealed in court records. Youthful offender deals are usually reserved for first-time offenders. It’s not clear if the teenagers in this case have priors, and it will be up to the judge to decide the terms of their sentencing if they are convicted or agree to plead to the charges.
The SPCA has taken custody of the dogs, although their fate remains unclear. Hopefully they can be rehabilitated and adopted by experienced owners.
There’s been an outpouring of support for Buddy, with well-wishers across the world donating tens of thousands of dollars toward his veterinary care and related costs, Pennsylvania SPCA’s Julie Klim said.
“While we certainly see a lot of bad as we fight to end animal cruelty, we also see how much good there is, especially in a case like this, from all corners of the globe,” Klim said. “We will do everything humanly and medically possible to ensure Buddy’s future will be a bright one.”
In the meantime, Buddy still clings to life. He remains in critical condition, according to the SPCA, but veterinarians are “hopeful” he’ll pull through. Here’s a video of the little fighter trying to comfort himself by making biscuits on a soft blanket at a veterinary hospital:
Welcome, new readers! This blog is about a different Buddy the Cat, but we also cover news about felines, animal welfare, the pet industry and other cat-centric topics, in addition to frequent humor posts about our benevolent, furry overlords. Buddy the Cat from New York is pulling for Buddy the Cat from Philadelphia, and hopes his fellow Buddy makes a full recovery before finding a loving family and forever home.