Cat owner believes kitty was burned by landscaping chemical

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by AMY MORENO / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 28 at 5:41 PM

FEDERAL WAY, Wash, -- A Federal Way woman says her cat is in agonizing pain and could lose his leg after he was burned by some sort of chemical.
  
She says the animal ended up in that condition after a landscaping company was working outside her apartment.
 
SaRae Tyrell says her cat Jack has a special spot just outside her apartment “he’s not a wanderer, he's always right there,” she said.
  
Tyrell says he has a healthy kitty curiosity, so she wasn't surprised a few weeks ago when he wanted to see what was going on by his spot.  

A landscape company was putting down ground cover bark around her complex.
  
“There was this clear liquid coming out but, the truck said organic,” she explained.
  
Tyrell said she wasn’t warned that there was going to be work going on in the complex and assumed there was not threat.  A short time later, she saw Jack just outside her apartment 
 
“He was screaming at the bottom of the stairwell, right there, his eyes were white his tongue was hanging out you couldn't even recognize his face,” she said.  She washed the cat off and then rushed him to the vet. 
 
 “He was sprayed with a chemical irritant that caused his skin to fall off,” she said.
 
 Over the next few days and weeks, Jack’s condition got worse.
 
 “I have to give him antibiotics twice a day, I have to give him painkillers,” she said.
  
She must also change the bandages on his legs twice each day; it’s not an easy task with a cat that’s trying to get away. 
 
 Tyrell says she talked to her apartment complex management and the company that was laying down this bark, both said they were not responsible.
  
The landscaping company gave her 1000 dollars toward medical bills, but made her sign a release alleviating them from liability.  
 
In a letter, the owner of Allied Organics said "we have determined that our process of installing bark could not have caused these injuries to the cat."  
 
The risk management specialist for the company that owns her apartment complex sent a letter saying their investigation shows no liability on their part.  Tyrell says Jack’s medical bills are growing, but she will do everything she can to help her cat.
  
“He's the love of my life,” she explains.
  
She hopes Jack's story will warn other pet owners to be aware of unknown products.  Tyrell has opened an account for donations to help with Jack’s care. 
 
Money can be donated at Bank of America account number #138112112774 or at Vets for Less Animal Hospital 253-874-8387.
  
Owners of the landscaping company and apartment complex management were not available for comment Friday night.

Correction: The bank account number has been updated. The number first published in this article was incorrect.

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