This post, written by Karin Bennett, originally appeared on The PETA Files.
PETA’s headquarters in Hampton Roads, Virginia, is well known to local residents, many of whom volunteer to help animals in their spare time. Thousands in the area have taken advantage of our low-cost animal clinics and the Bea Arthur Dog Park, which is open to the community.
But every once in a while, someone visits PETA headquarters with ill intentions-like the guy who dumped this sweet, starving, nearly-naked bag of bones in our parking lot late one August night and then tried to drive away.
Not realizing that people were watching, the driver shoved an ailing cat, who has since been named Nadia, out of his car, and ignored the terrified and confused animal as she tried to get back into the car, running after it as the man drove away. Fortunately, he was spotted by two PETA Foundation staffers who immediately approached him and saw right through his lame excuses for dumping Nadia on the street.
It took us more than 10 days, during which time the temperature soared to more than 100 degrees, to catch the poor, petrified cat. When we finally did, we rushed her to a veterinarian, who determined that Nadia was 3 pounds (!) underweight-she weighed just 5 pounds-and that she was missing hair on more than half her body, likely because of a severe allergic reaction to fleas. Nadia has been recuperating in foster care ever since and is waiting for her new forever home.
As for the heinous man who attempted to abandon her, he had his moment in court on Friday. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of abandonment and received a suspended sentence of a $1,000 fine and five days in jail. He was also sentenced to two years of probation, during which time he cannot own or keep any animals, and he had to pay restitution to PETA. Most importantly, he learned that abandoning an animal is never an option, no matter the circumstances.
Make your time with your friends and family—including your animal companions—even more meaningful.