Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Boy named Sue back after vicious attack

Community rallies around cat

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He's the boy named Sue, a cat that loves to chase the girls and carouse with friends. He runs the roads so much he's known by sight wherever he roams.

That's probably why he's still alive today.

Sue is Suszy, a former feral cat, that was viciously attacked, trapped, shot twice in the head with a pellet gun, then beaten and left for dead last weekend.

The tiny hamlet of Seven Sisters Falls, 90 kilometres east of Winnipeg, is where the cat lived most of his nine lives and where residents were buzzing about his tale this week.

Several confirmed a chance intervention on a snowmobile trail stopped the attack and scared off the assailant. Local residents then rescued the cat and got him and the owner to the nearest vet.

Lac du Bonnet RCMP confirmed a cat was trapped, shot with a pellet gun and left on the side of the road. The cat was still alive and was taken to a local area veterinarian by a resident, a spokeswoman said by email Thursday.

A 66-year-old male resident of Seven Sisters Falls was arrested Wednesday and will face a charge under the Criminal Code for cruelty to animal. He has since been released, pending a court appearance in Beausejour on May 7, RCMP confirmed.

Now the town is raising money to defray a hefty vet bill and encouraging well-wishers to mail cards to the cat.

"How someone could do such a cruel thing is beyond me," local postmaster Darlene McNichol said. "Canada Post isn't involved, but I own my own building and I am the postmaster. If people send a card to Suszy, c/o general delivery, I'll know where it'll go. It's a community thing."

Debra Hagan, the town's pet groomer, plugged the town into an email conduit for updates, long newsy notes on everything from the Mounties' manhunt for the assailant, to a blow-by-blow description of the attack, the rescue, the surgery, the recovery and a fundraising effort.

A trust account has been set up under Hagan's name at the Sunova Credit Union in Pinawa. Donations can also be made at any Sunova Credit Union outlet in Manitoba.

By noon Thursday, donations had reached several hundred dollars, Hagan said.

The vet bill is $1,400.

Together, the two women act as the town's volunteer pet-rescue service. They say the attack last weekend is by far the worst one they recall in a recent series of mysterious disappearances of half-a-dozen cats and a couple of suspicious deaths of pet dogs.

Seven Sisters Falls, located at the edge of Whiteshell Provincial Park, is home to a community big on animal rescue.

The incident took place last Saturday when snowmobilers came across a man on the trail slamming a stick down on something suspiciously red.

The man was scared off, but the winter trekkers spotted a small still figure, with white fur, multicoloured patches and a head streaked with blood.

After nearly five days in hospital, the cat's come back home, with one eye surgically removed and one pellet still lodged in his brain.

A very grateful owner is relieved Suszy's alive and she said the support she and Suszy are getting is blowing her mind.

"Oh my God, you have no idea," Colleen Frank said. "Everybody's just been fantastic. I'm overwhelmed."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2013 A7


Updated on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 3:49 PM CDT: Corrects name to Debra Hagan

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