A cat in New Freedom appears to have been burned by some sort of acid, police said, but it's unknown whether someone intentionally tried to hurt the tuxedo-color cat, or whether he accidentally got into a corrosive substance.
Southern Regional Police Sgt. Darryl Smuck cautioned residents to keep a close eye on cats they let outside, and also is urging people to come forward if they have information about the possible animal cruelty.
Police learned of the incident last week from a woman who lives in New Freedom. She could not immediately be reached for comment, but she did provide details about the cat on Facebook.
She'd been feeding the male cat on her back porch and on Feb. 21 noticed he was injured. She said she took the cat to a veterinarian for treatment.
The cat, which is either stray or feral, is being treated at Animal Rescue's New Freedom facility, according to police, who said the organization determined the cat came in contact with some type of corrosive substance. But staff members there could not determine whether it was accidental or intentional, police said.
'Bad shape': "He's in bad shape with a mutilated tongue and face, plus he can't open his eyes," according to a Facebook post left by the woman who found him. "He has a long road to recovery ahead of him!"
Officers have spoken with the woman, who posted an alert on Southern Regional's Facebook page, according to Smuck. She lives on East High Street, police said.
Smuck said if police receive any information to suggest someone is intentionally trying to poison cats, the entire matter will be referred to Humane Police Office Nicole Boyer from the SPCA.
Officers searched the area but found nothing that could have injured the cat, police said.
Officers also learned several other cats in the area suffered similar injuries, but the owner of those cats said the circumstances were not the same as that of the tuxedo cat.
Anyone with information about this is urged to call Southern Regional Police at 235-3944, or call the York County SPCA at 764-6109.
-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.