A homeless cat from Mainland on the Port au Port Peninsula that was the subject of animal cruelty is receiving free treatment from a vet office in St. John's.
Sona the cat was shot in both eyes and blinded with a pellet gun. She also had a mangled paw that has since been removed.
Gwen Samms, the manager of SCAPA — a non-profit animal shelter in Stephenville — picked up Sona last week, and brought her to St. John's to receive treatment.
Natalie MacDonald, the manager of the Avalon Animal Hospital in St. John's, says the owners of the clinic were so touched by Sona's story that they have decided to provide free service to help her heal.
"There was a lot of stories about her, and the owners of the clinic — Dr. Beth Marshall and Jillian Morris — were really touched by her story," MacDonald said.
"And we just really wanted to give her a shot, so we decided to take her on and do it as a pro bono to help her and try to get her a forever home."
MacDonald said the staff is taking it day by day with the animal, but she seems to be content with her surroundings.
"She's heartbreaking — with her injuries, her story — even before you see her, she's heartbreaking," she said.
"With one of her eyes gone, it is hard for us to see her like that."
However, MacDonald said it was important to give Sona, as well as other injured animals, the chance at a happy life.
"When we look at them, we look at quality of life, and if they are enjoying their surroundings, they're eating, they're drinking, and they seem happy — as happy as we can tell they are — and everything seems like she's just really happy to be here, she's happy to be alive. It's like she understands that people are helping her," MacDonald said.
"And really, when it comes to quality of life, they can tell you when it gets closer to that, but she doesn't have any of those signs right now," she added.
"You have to give her the chance. She's come this far, so we just have to help her on her way."
MacDonald said Sona purrs a lot and gets visits from the staff regularly, but will need more surgeries on her eye and will likely lose her leg.