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Shelter establishes fund after 3 animals are tortured, including cat whose head was lit on fire

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS — The Snake River Animal Shelter is launching a special fund after two cats and a dog were brutally tortured in separate cases over the last month.

The Halo Fund is named after a local family’s pet cockapoo dog that was shot and killed two weeks ago in an Idaho Falls neighborhood.

RELATED | IDAHO FALLS FAMILY GRIEVING AFTER DOG FATALLY SHOT

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Halo, a pet cockapoo dog, was shot and killed earlier this month in Idaho Falls. | Courtesy Bitrick family

Earlier this month, the Idaho Falls Animal Shelter was notified that a cat was found completely doused in motor oil. Workers named him Slick and, after receiving medical treatment, the cat was adopted to a loving family.

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Slick the cat was found completely doused in motor oil earlier this month in Idaho Falls. | Courtesy Snake River Animal Shelter

Then, on May 26, a cat whose head had been covered in flammable fluid and lit on fire was discovered outside of the Snake River Animal Shelter.

“We came in that morning and found the cat in really bad shape,” Kristin Sanger, executive director of the Snake River Animal Shelter, tells EastIdahoNews.com. “He had been bleeding, and his face was really, really swollen.”

The shelter named the 5-year-old feline Samson. Workers discovered him soaking wet following a rainstorm and they believe he walked to the shelter for refuge.

A donor offered to pay for Samson’s veterinary bills.

“If he makes it through this next week, the likelihood of survival is good,” Sanger says. “The donor that paid for his medical bills also wants to adopt him. Right now he’s resting comfortably at the animal shelter.”

Officials don’t believe the three cases are connected but are issuing a warning that animal torture is a serious offense.

“The individuals who do this are disturbed,” Sanger says. “We know from research that’s been done for decades that animal cruelty is a precursor to violence toward people.”

The Humane Society of the United States reports pet abuse is one of four predictors of domestic partner violence and that between 71 and 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partners also abused or killed the family pet.

“We want a healthy community, and the individuals doing this need to be aware that these are not healthy acts,” Sanger says.

The Halo Fund will be dedicated to providing humane education opportunities for elementary through secondary-aged children in east Idaho. Donations are being accepted at the Snake River Animal Shelter to help pay for the program.

Idaho Falls Animal Control officers are investigating the three abuse cases and hope those responsible will be found.

“People who are doing these crimes are hurting inside, and they need an education and an opportunity to heal for themselves,” Sanger says. “This is an eye-opener, and it needs to stop.”

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