Slideshow: Cat Survives Severe Chemical Burns

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 3:30pm
Slideshow: Cat Survives Severe Chemical Burns

When ASPCA staffer Rena L. saw a veterinarian cradling a tiny animal in her arms, she wondered, “Is that a turkey? What’s a turkey doing at the ASPCA Adoption Center?”

Then she realized: The tiny animal was in fact a cat—one who had suffered severe chemical burns on her back, scalp and other parts of her body. Kylie’s ears were singed off, and she couldn’t walk or close her red and cloudy eyes.

“My heart was completely broken,” remembers Rena, ASPCA Adoption Center Department Coordinator. “Ever since that moment, I’d go visit her when I was done with my office work, for 30 minutes to an hour.”

Late last year, Kylie was found hiding behind some bushes, quietly suffering, when two dogs sniffed her out while out on a walk. The dogs’ pet parent took the first step toward saving Kylie’s life: He brought her to ASPCA Animal Hospital. But Kylie’s struggle was far from over, and our veterinary staff didn’t know if she’d pull through.

“It was really touch-and-go with Kylie because she’d lost so much skin,” recalls ASPCA veterinarian Dr. Patricia Wagner, who treated Kylie. “We didn’t know if she’d be able to blink, or walk, ever again.”

Kylie needed several surgeries, specialist care and extensive treatment for her injuries. She spent months at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where everyone fell in love with Kylie and her sweet, patient personality. “Everyone knew who Kylie was,” says Dr. Wagner. “There were so many people here pulling for her. We didn’t want to fail.”

Then one day it was clear to our veterinarians that Kylie’s recovery had turned a corner—she was out of the woods. In fact, Kylie was ready to continue her recovery in a foster home. Rena’s was an obvious choice. Rena began fostering Kylie in February, eagerly taking on the medical regime her new foster kitty required: pain medicine, fish oil and eye drops, all twice a day on a rigid schedule. To protect Kylie’s burns and promote healing, Rena purchased her a T-shirt. When the shirt didn’t quite fit, Rena had it tailored.

Today, Kylie is an integral part of Rena’s family and fast friends with Lafaille cats Gizmo and Cleopatra, a Beagle called Maya, and Baby Jin, a four-and-a-half-pound Chihuahua who is her playmate and constant companion. Rena continues to work with Dr. Wagner on Kylie’s treatment, and they’re hopeful she won’t need medication one day.

“Kylie will never, ever give up no matter what,” Rena says. “It was her spirit that got her through this. She’s really an incredible cat.”

We can’t think of a better example of the animals our members’ support touches. If you haven’t lately, please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today. You’ll assist animals like Kylie—those already fortunate enough to be in our care, and those still waiting for our help.

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Susan Wancour

Oh that poor, sweet thing! Bless her little heart for being such a trooper. Who could do such a thing to an innocent animal? I can't stop crying looking at these photos - thank God there are people with HUGE hearts!


Rena, thank you. Kylie has such a sweet face - my heart was breaking until I read that she 'turned a corner'. I'm grateful to people like you.

Cindy Conway

It hurts my soul that so many sweet, innocent animals are harmed in this world. Kylie is a beautiful little cat; I wish her all the best and give oceans of gratitude to the dogs who found her and their human who brought her in, the vets who cared for her, and for Rena for giving her a loving home. You go Kylie! My four kitties are sending you love from Colorado.

Jen BW

Beautiful story. Thank you ASPCA for helping animals like Kylie and my two precious kitties I adopted last Sept. They are my pride and joy.

Karan Kozlow

Even though she's been through hell. Kylie is so beautiful- such sweet eyes! Thank you Rena and the ASPCA for saving her and giving her a second chance. To the person that did such a horrible thing to this beautiful being: MAY YOU ROT IN HELL FOR ETERNITY!

carolina Chapa

I'm thankful to God, that a good hearted human being took this cat to the ASPCA. I can only imagine what horrific thing will be coming to that evil person when he faces God.

Joyce Byram

What a wonderful story and ending. Bless your hearts and thank you for all that you do for the animals.


I'm sitting here reading this story in stunned silence, with tears in my eyes. To the ASPCA and Rena, thank you for taking on the responsibility for this beautiful angel, who just happens to be a cat in disguise. Additionally, thank you to the person who took the time to take lil' Kylie to the ASPCA. Let's continue to remind everyone (our family, friends, co-workers) to take a stand against animal cruelty. And, however immature/ridiculous this sounds, I thank God I don't know who did this...take from my comment what you will.


That photo of little, sweet Kylie in her red shirt should be a calendar cover. What a wonderful, heartwarming story. So happy to see Kylie doing well. Thank you Rena!


Kylie & Rena! You are both an inspiration to all! I hope that Kylie makes a complete recovery and can enjoy the rest of her life in her forever home! What kind of sicko does this to an innocent animal??? Right now I am caring for 4 little kittens & their mom. Their mom "belongs" to the morons that live across from me. They refuse to have her spayed. She had her last of 15 litters on 6/23. I am going to try to get her to a vet this week to have her spayed. These idiots are so stupid, they won't even know why she isn't getting pregnant again! Hopefully 3 of the little kittens can find a forever home at the humane society. The one is too feral. I will have him neutered under the feral cat program.