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Animal control peace officers in Edmonton are looking for the owners of a cat that was found in distress last week with an elastic band around its neck.
On Sept. 12, officers were called to the area of 129 Avenue and 118 Street after a cat was brought to a vet office in “physical distress,” a spokesperson said.
A resident of the area had found the cat and brought it to the vet clinic.
The elastic band around the cat’s neck had become embedded in its skin.
“It definitely would have impacted her ability to breathe, even her ability to eat and to perform normal functions that a kitten needs to do,” Peace Officer Brianne Grey said.
Officers described the cat as a female domestic shorthair with dilute tortoiseshell colouring. The cat is reportedly around seven months old.
“This kitten looks like it was well fed, well taken care of,” Grey said. “There’s no other injuries on this kitten.”
The vet clinic that first received the kitten removed the elastic band and cleaned the kitten’s wound. The sore didn’t require stitches.
“It’s definitely confusing. The elastic band doesn’t serve a purpose. It’s not a collar, it’s not a form of identification so it doesn’t quite make sense. That’s why we want to figure out why this was put on this kitten and when it was put there.”
Officers assume the band has been around the cat’s neck for about a week. They haven’t received any similar complaints.
Grey said the band was too small for the cat to have gotten into it itself through playing or by accident.
“It was very, very tight, so someone would have had to put it on the kitten.”
The animal was wearing a leopard printed collar with a bell but didn’t have a tag, microchip, tattoo or any other identifier, officers said. Her temperament and demeanor has led officers to believe she is someone’s pet, Grey said.
Any charges would fall under provincial legislation and would relate to cruelty to an animal and neglecting the basic needs of the animal, Grey said. Fines for those charges can run up to $20,000 and a person who has been found guilty could face a lifetime ban on owning animals.
“Typically a lifetime prohibition or some type of prohibition is what we seek on these individuals so if they can’t own another animal, they can’t do this again,” Grey said.
The owner of the cat or anyone with information about the owner is asked to contact animal control peace officers by calling 311.