A kitten found in Sioux Falls suffering from severe frostbite after being outside in frigid temperatures is a stark reminder for pet owners, according to humane officers, who offer a warning as we remain in another cold snap.
Named "Angel" by her foster owner, Monique Mixell, the feline has the odds stacked against her.
"We're just kind of hoping that she won't lose all of her feet but they've just shriveled up and they're hard," Mixell said.
Found as a stray a week ago, the two-month-old cat has severe frostbite on three paws, tail, and ear. Mixell believes it happened during the sub-zero temperatures earlier this month.
In fact, you can hear the noise the hard paws make when Angel walks.
"Since her feet are dead, they all just might fall off," Mixell said. "And if that is the case she would just have little stumps. You can't amputate three legs of a cat. One, yes, but not three."
This kitten is one animal with cold-related injuries coming into the shelter, upsetting Humane Officer Dana Wigg, who says it's a crime for owners to leave pets outside in severe cold without proper protection.
"It's a horrible way to die," Wigg said.
Just like humans, pets can receive life-threatening injuries if exposed to extreme cold. And Wigg says it's important for others to keep an eye out for at-risk animals.
"Don't be silent," Wigg said. "You have to call in. You can call in anonymously but do not be silent. Do not wait for somebody else to call in."
But that call came too late for Angel.
"We're hoping for a Christmas miracle that she won't lose her feet. But we're going to love her while she's here and make her feel like the pet she never got to be."
For issues regarding animal issues in Sioux Falls call Animal Control at 605-367-7000.
For domestic and wild issues outside Sioux Falls, call local sheriff’s department.
For horse and livestock issues, call the State Animal Industry Board at 605-773-3321.