Cat survived abuse and now wears sweaters to protect severe burn scars


His name means strength, and that might not be a coincidence.

An adopted orange tabby called Angus is one tough cat.

Angus relaxes on his ‘throne’.

Jill Croteau/Global News

One of the Calgary police officers involved in the animal abuse case said it was the worst he had ever seen.

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Acting Sergeant. Dennis Smithson said Angus was seriously injured in July 2020.

“He came from a house where a domestic incident occurred.

“A young woman had come home and found him injured in his cat bed with all the burns on him.

“Her domestic partner revealed that he had tried to give the animal a bath and the water may have been too hot…She noticed stains of bleach and chemicals on her clothes “Smithson said.

Angus recovering under veterinary care.

Courtesy: Margaret Doyle

Dr. Margaret Doyle is a forensic veterinarian who investigated the case.

“That’s why he’s the hardest on us, emotionally, because it’s hard not to think about what he’s been through,” Doyle said.

Angus as a kitten, recovering.

Courtesy: Margaret Doyle

The attacker was sentenced to 18 months in prison for cruelty to animals. It was never revealed whether it was a hot liquid or a chemical burn that caused Angus’ injuries.

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“He was burned over 30% of his body,” Doyle said. “He ended up losing half his hind legs and he lost a third of his tail and the tops of his ears and front legs are badly scarred.”

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“He was in bad shape. It was his day-to-day pain management.

“I saw him coming home and unable to move, learning to walk, where he is now,” Smithson said.

Dennis and Margaret adopted Angus.

Jill Croteau/Global News

Doyle and Smithson adopted Angus after getting so attached. Doyle looked after him around the clock, bringing him home to stay with her after hours.

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“Once he started to recover, he had such a sweet personality,” Doyle said.

“He’s been through a lot and I hope he doesn’t remember it because he was so young.”

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“He came home and never left,” Doyle said. “I don’t want to have to worry about whether someone is taking really good care of him.

“I just want him to never have any hurt or pain in his life and I want him to be happy and comfortable forever.”

“In the four and a half years that I have worked on animal abuse cases with the Calgary Police Service, this is the one that means the most to me,” Smithson said.

Part of his recovery required him to wear custom shirts and sweaters.

Angus’ wardrobe.

Jill Croteau/Global News

His fashion comes with function because his skin is still so fragile and he needs to protect his scars.

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Angus wearing one of his sweaters.

Courtesy of Dennis Smithson

“He wore baby onesies for the first five months of his life and now he’s moved on to shirts,” Doyle said.

Angus “plays games” at home.

Courtesy of Dennis Smithson

Her clothing collection is designed by a woman based in Quebec. Among the creations, she made him his own stencil shirts.

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Angus wearing his own custom shirt.

Courtesy of Dennis Smithson

He even owns something a little more formal: a tuxedo.

Angus in a tuxedo.

Courtesy of Dennis Smithson

“Now I’m a crazy cat wardrobe person,” Doyle said.

“Now I own a cat that wears sweaters,” Smithson said.

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Angus even has his own Instagram account.

The couple are relieved that Angus is now thriving.

Angus.

Courtesy of Dennis Smithson

“These are difficult and difficult cases for everyone. We had a lot of tears because it’s not easy for the investigators, the vets or the crown attorney,” Smithson said.

“So for him to be as happy as he is, that’s a vitally important thing that we have to do.”

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