Check in with Sparky

Sparky when he was brought to the hospital (left) in early April, and the feline today. (Photo credit: Jennifer Jean Miller)

On April 5, a 3-year-old black-and-white cat was brought to the Andover Animal Hospital in Newton, N.J. The feline was sad shape with multiple burns to his legs, back and ear, and some areas looked as if he were branded by a hot iron.

But first some backstory: The cat, named Pontiac, was living in an apartment with his family, until they had to move out. While his owner was searching for a new place to live that would accept cats, he left the animal with a neighbor, Rachel Bezak.

One day, Pontiac disappeared. Being primarily an outdoor cat, Bezak figured the feline would return home, but when she noticed that the cat’s food was untouched, she began to worry.

Bezak searched for Pontiac and found him on a neighbor’s driveway, curled up on a pile of discarded carpet.

Pontiac was taken to the Andover Animal Hospital. The prognosis was grisly: The cat had third-degree burns and sores on his body, some of which had become infected. One back leg was in such horrible condition doctors feared the limb might have to be amputated.

Pontiac brought the vet tech to tears, as she sobbed she had never seen anything like this before.

As Pontiac’s owner could not afford the $2,000 bill for Sparky’s treatment, the hospital’s receptionist, Carol O’Neill, adopted the feline and assumed responsibility for the cost of the cat’s treatment. She and the staff began to nurse the cat, who was renamed Sparky, back to health.

A $1,000 reward was offered for any info that would lead to the person(s) responsible for Sparky’s condition.

After the word about Sparky went out, including the creation of his own Facebook page, donations poured in. Contributions totaled $7,000; an additional $2,000 was donated by the hospital.

Now, following more than two months of rehabilitation and treatment, doctors claim Sparky has made a complete recovery. He still limps a bit from damage to his front legs, but doctors didn’t have to amputate his rear one.

To date, no one has come forward with any information on how Sparky received his burns. salutes the medical staff at Andover Animal Hospital for stepping up and helping Sparky recover.