San Antonio has a massive problem with stray cats and dogs. Thousands are on the streets, and that number goes up every Fourth of July when many animals get scared and bolt out of their yard. But for one cat, it wasn't the sound of the fireworks that caused the problem, but the explosion on her body, and it was likely done on purpose.
The cat is eight-year-old Nyx. She's a domestic shorthair. When she was found in a Floresville park, one ear was completely blown off.
"I just don't understand how people can let this happen to animals and not want to do something," said Christine Hetherly-Thigpen, the Director of P.A.W.S., or Protecting Animals Within San Antonio. She added, "The night after the Fourth of July, we got a call from Floresville that there was an injured cat and the woman didn't know what to do, but she suspected it had been hit by fireworks."
That woman is Kelly Stickley, an animal rescuer herself. She knew P.A.W.S. would come to Nyx's rescue. They eventually ended up at Callaghan Road Animal Hospital.
"I was horrified and disgusted because there were maggots all over her and she wasn't moving very well and I was really scared she wasn't going to survive," Hetherly-Thigpen said.
"The ear canal had already necrosed all the way down to the base of the skull, so she has what is called an ear canal ablation that happened due to the infection," said Dr. Eduardo Guevara, the owner and a veterinarian at Callaghan Road Animal Hospital.
"We get kittens that have been in engines and have their skulls ripped open, but this is obviously not done by a car either a bullet or a firework," Hetherly-Thigpen added.
So far this year, Animal Care Services has taken in over 11,000 strays and animals from the field across San Antonio. And according to P.A.W.S., there are about 200,000 stray cats and dogs on the streets in the Alamo City. Hetherly-Thigpen says these high numbers all come down to lack of responsibility and education. "Many people don't understand how to properly take care of their animals, they don't have access to the resources they need to do it, and they don't think anything bad will happen to their animal," she said.
Nyx is expected to make a complete recovery, minus one ear, and will be up for adoption through P.A.W.S. in about four to six weeks. If you are interested in adopting Nyx, you can email them at email@example.com.
P.A.W.S. is in desperate need of fosters. You can contact them at the email above for more information. You can also donate to the organization. Just go to pawsa.org for more information.