Auckland woman claims cat died after being doused in sulphuric acid

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Valentina McCarthy says Sparrow was found on Sunday under the house, with his face and back drenched in what she believes to be sulphuric acid.

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Valentina McCarthy says Sparrow was found on Sunday under the house, with his face and back drenched in what she believes to be sulphuric acid.

A cat has died after being found with severe burns to its face and back, believed to have been caused by an acid-like substance.

Glenfield resident Valentina McCarthy said her son found their 9-year-old tabby, Sparrow, hiding under their deck around midday on Sunday, covered in a yellow substance.

McCarthy said her son called her at work to say there was a strange cat under the house, but later realised it was Sparrow.

McCarthy said Sparrow’s fur was bleached and the substance caused him to go blind. His face was burnt and he was unable to breathe properly.

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After calling the SPCA and family members for help, McCarthy’s sons rushed Sparrow to a vet.

Valentina McCarthy says the vet said the liquid on Sparrow smelled like sulphur.

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Valentina McCarthy says the vet said the liquid on Sparrow smelled like sulphur.

McCarthy said the vet told her family the liquid on Sparrow smelled like sulphur, leading McCarthy to believe sulphuric acid had been poured on the cat.

“The smell was actually really, really bad,” McCarthy said.

“The cage that they took him in had some towels that they had put in to try make him comfortable and the stench of them was shocking.

“It smelt like sulphur and rotting fish, really bad. It made your eyes sting.”

McCarthy said Sparrow’s kidneys were failing by the time he got to the vet and he had to be put down.

She said it was really hard and was still in shock about what had happened.

Victor Nath said his cat coming home covered in bleach and paint had left him concerned.

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Victor Nath said his cat coming home covered in bleach and paint had left him concerned.

Because the liquid was only on the top of Sparrow and not his underbelly, McCarthy believed the liquid had been poured on top of him.

McCarthy didn’t think to contact police about what happened until she posted on social media and was surprised to see other people posting about similar incidents.

“I’ve been in quite a bit of shock about it. It’s like losing a family member,” she said.

“It’s horrible to think that someone would be out there doing that.”

A resident who lives near McCarthy said his own cat came home covered in paint and another time, in bleach.

Victor Nath said the bleach incident happened on January 15 and the paint, three weeks before that.

He hadn’t reported it because he didn’t believe anything could be done.

Nath said he had no idea why this had happened and it was very concerning.

“We have lived here coming up to nine years and we have had our cat all that time and this is the first time anything like this has happened.”

A spokeswoman for SPCA said it had not received any complaints about McCarthy’s cat but was aware of her social media post.

“I’m trying to get in touch with the owner as this is absolutely something our inspectors would investigate,” she said.

Police were also aware of the incident and asked anyone with information to email brad.sanderson@police.govt.nz or call North Shore Police on 09 477 5000.

Cat Coalition committee member Anne Batley Burton said cruelty to cats had increased following Gareth Morgan’s ‘Cats to Go’ campaign.

“Cruelty towards any animal which are sentient beings must not be condoned in any shape or form,” Batley Burton said.



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