A family cat that was drugged, shaven and tossed out of a window by a group of teens and one young adult has found its way home and is on the mend.
Sharline Haglund has confirmed Gigi the cat, a one-year-old calico, is back where she belongs after the indoor cat’s horrifying trip out.
“We are going to the vet,” Haglund said Wednesday morning. “They said to call…and they would test her for drugs and look her over.”
Haglund confirmed on Wednesday afternoon the presence of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, a synthetic drug that acts as a stimulant and hallucinogen, was found in Gigi’s system.
She said the veterinary clinic that is treating Gigi kept the cat on fluids in the clinic all day in efforts to flush the drug out.
“She’s been sketchy from the drugs and not acting like herself, but it looks like she will be fine. Her hair will grow back, but I’m still shaking after all of this,” Haglund said.
The incident was recorded and send via Snapchat to a Duncan teen in the wee hours of Tuesday morning by a group of people she used to associate with.
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP say a 20-year-old man has been arrested. Joshua Michael Lemire is charged with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal.
Court records show Lemire had previously been charged with and assault and uttering threats in 2016. He was found guilty of assault in that case he was sentenced to one year of probation.
The RCMP have also confirmed that a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy have also been charged with causing an animal to suffer in the incident.
All three of the accused have been released on conditions that include no contact with each other or the victim, no consuming intoxicating substances and they must not possess or have care of any pets or animals.
RCMP are also warning people not to take justice into their own hands.
“We are always concerned when people decide to bypass law enforcement and take matters into their own hands,” said Cpl. Tammy Douglas in a press release. “When that happens there is a risk that investigations can be jeopardized and key evidence can be lost.
“Although we can appreciate that this matter has upset many people, vigilantism will not be tolerated.”
It was about 3 a.m. when the videos began arriving showing what looks like the animal being drugged, shaved, and bleached.
The cat also has “666” written in her ear.
Afterward, Gigi was thrown out the window and into the cold, dark night.
What Haglund and her family saw on the social media site shook them to the core.
“I can’t stop shaking,” Haglund said. “Last night was so bad my teeth were clattering.”
The accused have been questioned by authorities and members of the RCMP have photographed the animal for evidence.
“That’s a good start, and we’re pleased with the swift action by the RCMP,” Haglund said.
“We’ll have to see what happens next.”
After the information got out on Facebook, a woman wrote to say she’d been out for a walk when Gigi ran up to them.
“She came running up to me and meowing like crazy,” she wrote on Facebook. “I quickly knelt down and put her in my hoodie to warm up. She is indeed shaved and very shaky she also has 666 in her ear. Her owners came and got her and she is safe.”
Haglund said it’s comforting to know there are good people out there.
“People were out in droves” looking for Gigi, she said.
Dr. Bonnie Baines, the veterinarian who is treating Gigi at Prevost Veterinary Clinic in Duncan, said that while the urine test on the cat found ecstasy in her system, there’s no way to determine exactly how much she ingested.
But Baines said Gigi was displaying symptoms of the drug, including a high heart rate, twitching and acting agitated.
“We also took blood tests to determine the general health of Gigi, including her liver and kidneys, and the tests came back indicating her condition is good,” she said.
“Gigi was sent home at 6 p.m. on [Nov. 22] but we wanted her back [on Nov. 23] for more blood work in case something else comes up. We don’t see incidents like this very often, so it’s hard to tell if there will be any long-term effects on Gigi, but she seems pretty friendly and her personality seems fine. This is so unacceptable. There’s a lot of messed up people out there.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the vet bills. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/z8zed5-justice-for-gigi to learn more.