PALMETTO (WWSB) - A kitten that was abandoned in the parking lot of Manatee County Animal Services is fighting for his life after being run over by a car.
Officials say someone left the six-week-old kitten at the shelter on 25th Street West in Palmetto Monday in the parking lot and he was struck by a car. The kitten is in critical condition.
An older woman and younger person she was with tried to surrender him Monday at animal services but their policy is owner surrender by appointment only. Despite being given options, shelter officials say the woman still abandoned the kitten in the parking lot. It’s not yet known if it was her car or another car that ran over the kitten, which weighs a little more than a pound.
“It’s awful to think that anybody would think that that’s their option because it’s not their only option," said Sarah Brown, Division Chief for Manatee County Animal Services. "And to see the cat, a helpless animal, to abandon it like that and then have it get run over by a vehicle, I mean we’re just thankful that the cat survived.”
Animal abandonment is a first degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to $5000 in fines and even prison time. The shelter is working with law enforcement to find out who abandoned the kitten.
For now, shelter employees have named the kitten "Von," which means hope, and say his condition, though critical, is stable at the moment and not declining.
“His condition isn’t getting any worse which we’re really hopeful that he’s going to pull through," said Brown. "He had some swelling in his head that seems to be going down a little bit and we’re doing everything we can to keep him comfortable.”
In an update on Friday, the animal shelter said Von seems to be doing well. He has some weakness on his right side but has some normal responses. The shelter believes that because Von is so young, he will be able to heal from any nerve damage. An MRI is being conducted to determine if there are any brain clots that could impair his brain activity or if there is any brain swelling.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is hopeful that surveillance video will help them with their investigation.