Even after being beaten nearly to death, Freedom the cat is affectionate and seeks attention from people.
That’s more than any human should expect from a defenseless creature who was mercilessly kicked and hit with a baseball bat when he wandered up to a pair of teenage boys in East Toledo on Dec. 27.
Freedom, who was named for the street where he was rescued from the teenagers brutalizing him, is being cared for by the local rescue group The Compassionate Village.
Toledo police have charged two boys– a 14-year-old and 16-year-old– with felony cruelty to animals.
The rescue group’s cofounder and president Britni Wilson-Carleton said she hopes the boys take responsibility for their hideous crime.
She also has said she hopes they will get professional help for whatever issues could lead teens to abuse an animal the way they abused Freedom.
It is unfathomable to imagine what would possess anyone to viciously attack a helpless little animal the way these boys allegedly did.
What’s worse is to imagine what else they may be capable of doing.
Research has long shown that young people who torture and kill animals are prone to violence against people later in life.
Intervention is urgently necessary to prevent Freedom’s young attackers from becoming even worse as adults.
But more than professional help, the boys who nearly beat Freedom to death for sport must face the harshest penalties the justice system can deliver. Throw the book at them.
The Compassionate Village has raised about $10,000 for his care, about $7,500 of which already has been spent to try to save the cat’s life.
The beating he received caused skull and facial-bone fractures, along with eye damage. Freedom is not out of the woods yet, Mrs. Wilson Carlton says.
She is quick to add that the cat surely would have died on Freedom Street that day if not for a neighborhood woman who heard a commotion and, after looking out her window to see the beating, ran out and shouted until the attackers ran away.
That good Samaritan risked her own safety to save the life of an animal fighting for its life.
She may have also stopped a pair of violent thugs early enough on their road to sociopathy to prevent even worse crimes.
The mayor should seek her out and personally give her the thanks of the city. She has shown us its courage and heart.–Toledo Blade