Kitten is torched by yobs on her first trip outside – and spends TWO DAYS crawling home before dying from her wounds
Hetty the kitten was found with horrendous burns down one sideOwner Liam Garrard believes she was deliberately set alightShe had major surgery but developed an infection and had to be put downPolice and the RSPCA are investigating
20:27 GMT, 28 November 2012
A nine-month-old kitten spent two days crawling back home after she was set on fire while venturing outside for the very first time.
Hetty the kitten was found by owner Liam Garrard with horrendous burns from her shoulder to her hind leg on one side after she went missing in Crawley, West Sussex.
She underwent major surgery to remove a patch of badly burned skin and was due to come home on Monday but developed an infection and had to be put down.
Now police and the RSPCA are appealing for witnesses because they believe she was deliberately lit.
Set alight: Hetty the kitten was burned from her shoulder to her hind leg on one side and underwent major surgery but she developed an infection and had to be put down
Mr Garrard, 22, believed she was set alight by ‘horrible, cruel individuals’ because of the pattern of her injuries.
The Homebase manager said: ‘You have to be a sick, sadistic person to even think about doing this.
‘How could you purposely set a small kitten on fire
‘I was beginning to worry because it was the first time she had ever really ventured out.
“She was dead silent when I found her back in the house, which thinking back to it now was strange, and when I picked her up it felt like she was covered in mud.
‘It wasn’t until I turned on the light that I saw her entire side was black. There was a huge mass of singed fur.
Vets at Seers Croft Vets, in Faygate, West Sussex operated on the kitten but her little body had suffered too big a trauma.
Mr Garrard said: ‘The vets said it was a big trauma for her body to handle. The skin was cooked. I have been told by the vets it looks as though it was done deliberately.
‘She was probably asleep and somebody just set her on fire.
‘They compared it to a human losing an amount of skin from their chest all the way round to their back.
‘People need to be made aware that there are some horrible, cruel individuals living in Crawley.’
First timer: The attack happened on the first time Hetty was allowed out of the house and when she returned home, two days later in Crawley, West Sussex (pictured), Mr Garrard said her 'skin was cooked'
Hetty disappeared for two days on November 13 and when she returned at about 6am on November 15 Mr Garrard discovered her injuries.
Sussex Police and the RSPCA are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.
An RSPCA spokesman said: ‘This is the most appalling type of cruelty to this poor, defenceless kitten.
‘Young cats can be very trusting and will readily go up to strangers.
‘For someone to abuse that trust and then set light to the poor animal is heart breaking, cruel.
‘We would certainly like to find who is responsible for this and for them to get the proper punishment.’
Animal shelter The Blue Cross recommends kittens should not be allowed outside on their own until after they have been neutered at about five or six-months-old.
They can go outside after their first course of vaccinations at 13 to 14-weeks-old but owners are advised to accompany them in the garden.