In late July, workers at the Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, made a shocking and heartbreaking discovery: a kitten had been tied to a bush and presumably left for dead on their campus.
When employees heard a kitten's cry near a walking path, they followed the sound to find a small animal tied to a painful pricker bush by a rope around his neck.
Dearborn Animal Control was called to investigate, and from there, the shelter Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit and VetSelect Dearborn took over to help the injured cat.
Elaine Greene, executive director of Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit, told petMD that the kitten—named Mustang for the location of his rescue—was found in dire conditions.
"The kitty was found to have an open wound with a rope embedded into the tissue around the neck. [The wound] was impacted with maggots, infected and had a [dying tissue] smell," she described. "The kitty was thin and dehydrated."
A team of veterinarians had to anesthetize the weeks-old Mustang to remove the rope from his neck and extract the maggots. They also flushed and cleaned his wound.
Amazingly, the feline is recovering well, both mentally and physically. "For all the pain, he has been a trooper," Greene said. "Mustang is very sweet and docile, [he] doesn't mind being held and is still very loving and trusting to people."
That loving nature and brave spirit touched a nerve with one of the clinic's staff, who has since adopted Mustang to give him the safe forever home he deserves.
The person who committed this heinous act of animal cruelty is still at large. According to Greene, the shelter is currently offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
"What happened to Mustang was horrendously cruel and a deliberate action," Greene said. "Tying him to a bush with no way to escape predators, the elements, with no food or water, with a wound cutting his neck was beyond the neglect we experience."
People can also help Mustang during his recovery by donating to the Hope's Hero Fund.
Image via Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit