Hunt on for cat harmers

By Bevan Hurley

Nikki Allen has been delivering reward notices for information that could reveal who attacked Venus. Photo / Janna Dixon
Nikki Allen has been delivering reward notices for information that could reveal who attacked Venus. Photo / Janna Dixon

The owner of a Burmese cat beaten so badly its pelvis was torn from its spine believes the injuries may be linked to threats she claims were made to her.

Nikki Allen thought Venus was dead when she found her curled up in a corner of her home on Auckland's North Shore.

She had dragged herself home, causing "massive abrasions" to the rear of her body, on her second birthday.

Allen claims she was threatened by several people days earlier who allegedly told her they were going to "shoot your cat, chop its legs off and throw it over your fence".

The mother-of-two, who owns two cats and two dogs, raced Venus to an after-hours vet who said her injuries were probably caused by a baseball or cricket bat, or heavy kicks.

Venus, who cost $800, underwent three hours of surgery the next day and faces six months of rehabilitation with a strong likelihood she will never walk properly again.

Allen, who runs a preschool in Glenfield, said: "I don't know how anyone can treat animals like this. These are part of our family and we love them like our children. I never dreamt that anyone could do that.

"I am angry. It's horrible to see Venus so badly injured. But she will survive. She has had surgery and now it's a long process of healing. She is very brave."

The people who Allen alleges threatened her denied any involvement in the attack.

But they said one of Allen's cats had been "terrorising" the neighbourhood and they had paid out $1000 in vet bills for their cat since moving to the area nine months ago.

Allen made a statement to police alleging several people came to her house on April 7 in an agitated state saying their cat had been attacked and threatening retribution.

She said one of them said he had a shotgun and would kill her cat.

Venus was discovered injured on April 22. Allen hopes the $3200 vet bills will be covered by insurance.

Her brother Zeus, also a Burmese, was sometimes known to be aggressive towards cats, but Allen said that behaviour was "what cats do".

As well as calling in police Allen contacted animal welfare campaigners Paw Justice, who have posted a $1000 reward for information leading to Venus's attackers being prosecuted.

Paw Justice spokesman Craig Dunn said: "It's an absolutely disgusting attack on a defenceless cat. Any violence against animals is disgraceful and we need to put a stop to it."

A community police officer has been going door-to-door in the area asking residents about the incident.

Constable Penny Rusbatch said: "This cat has been seriously injured and ... I would love to be able to find the people responsible and put them before the court."

Allen has been delivering reward notices and hopes the cash offer may spur someone to come forward.

She said: "Zeus hasn't left Venus' side since she returned home and our two King Charles Cavaliers puppies Roxy and Rambo are beside her cage too. All things considered, she is a tough little girl."

Support gathers for tougher penalties

Animal welfare campaigners are confident of securing tougher penalties for cruelty against pets after a spate of high-profile cases this year.

Paw Justice have gathered 300,000 signatures in support of raising the maximum prison sentence for injuring an animal from three to five years.

In January two men were accused of shooting 33 dogs dead in Wellsford.

Russell Mendoza allegedly shot the dogs with Tony "Tussock" Campbell after finding his fox terrier Otis had been mauled to death.

They are due to appear in the Warkworth District Court on Tuesday on firearms and animal cruelty charges.

On January 25, Gisborne man Te Ahu Mankelow pleaded guilty to feeding five live kittens to his pitbull terrier.

The 31-year-old recorded himself on a cellphone tipping five kittens from a box and urging his dog to eat them. He was jailed for seven months.

The same day David Snook was jailed for two years and four months in the Pukekohe District Court for tearing the head off a kitten in front of his former partner's family.

The court heard Snook laughed as he took the family kitten in his arms and twisted its head off.

- Herald on Sunday

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