|The afternoon of June 10th, 2011: The story began at Hill 'n Dale Park, east of Brooksville. There, according to Hernando County sheriff's deputies, a woman allegedly beat a pair of kittens with a metal baseball bat and then allowed her two boys, 8 and 5, to continue the torture. Four young witnesses told investigators that the boys kicked the animals, threw them and tried to slice open one's neck with a stick.
At the bottom of a trash can, one kitten died. The other, now known as Little Dexter, lived thanks to the intervention of one of the young boys who witnessed the actions.
After initial care at a local emergency clinic Little Dexter was brought to the PetLuv Spay and Neuter Clinic. Over the next several days he was examined by our vets, and cared for by technician Tiffany Sroka at her home. While there, Little Dexter showed improvement with each day. Slowly his injuries healed, and quickly his fan base developed. The story of the abused kitten was on the major news channels and in newspapers around the country. The PetLuv Facebook views went from 400 to over 2,000 within days.
The first week was touch and go; initially he was unable to hold his head up or ambulate well. He required hand feeding and IV hydration. But he slowly improved. Finally the day came when he could use the litter box, eat, and drink on his own! These were baby steps but great progress. His mobility started to improve as well. Of major concern were the seizures as a result of the head trauma. For a time, those subsided. There was an unsteadiness to his gait, and occasionally his front right leg would show signs of paralysis where his tiny paw dragged against the ground. He was also partially blind and had diminished hearing, but the doctors thought his chances to survive were increasing although still guarded. (The truth of the matter is that we were all amazed and grateful he was alive.)
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