COURTESY OF DR. INAYAT H. KATHIO Recess the cat was treated by Dr. Inayat Kathio after he was found with a bullet in his mouth.
HANOVER TWP. - Barely a week had passed since someone shot her autistic child's therapy cat in the mouth, but still Jennie Lloyd's family had something to be thankful about on Thanksgiving.
On Wednesday, after a local animal rescue operation and a veterinarian took up their cause, they heard a knock on the door and opened it to be reunited with Recess, their 3-year-old domestic short-haired cat.
"They were jumping and yelling for him," Lloyd said of her four children. "He's part of the family."
Recess was severely injured last Friday,
when he returned to his home in the Marion
Terrace Apartments with a fractured jaw
and missing teeth, said Dawn Mendygral,
owner of Happy Hearts & Tails Safe Haven
Animal Rescue. The family didn't have enough
money to get Recess treated but didn't want
to put him down. Mendygral decided to help
after seeing a post about the situation
Sunday on Facebook.
"I couldn’t let this cat suffer,"
she said. "He’s just so sweet.
I just don’t understand how you could
do this to any animal, let alone a cute,
sweet little angel like this."
She called Dr. Inayat H. Kathio, owner
of the Pittston Animal Hospital and Wilkes-Barre
Animal Hospital, who told her to bring the
cat right over Monday. Recess had a fractured
jaw, an apparent abscess and an infection
because he hadn’t been treated for
three days by that time, Kathio said.
"You should have seen this cat, how
much pain he was in," Kathio said.
"He was screaming."
When he went operate on the abscess, however,
he realized it was something more —
a .22-caliber bullet was lodged in Recess’
jaw, he said.
"There was no entrance wound outside,"
Kathio said. "People shot him right
in the mouth."
Kathio was so moved by the case he personally
offered a $1,000 reward for information
leading to the arrest and conviction of
the responsible person or people. He also
reported the crime to police in Hanover
Township and Pittston, saying he was concerned
the offender could escalate to more serious
"That has to be stopped," Kathio
said. "Somebody has to teach him a
After a few days of treatment, Recess was
purring and able to eat two cans of food
Wednesday, Mendygral said. Kathio called
and said he could go home, so she picked
him up and brought him to Lloyd’s
family as a surprise.
"We’re just very, very grateful
that Dr. Kathio was able to help, and Dawn
as well," Lloyd said. "If not
for those two, he would be dead."
Mendygral said Kathio treated Recess with
no expectation of payment, but that she
is still raising money to help cover the
roughly $5,000 bill. As of Thursday afternoon,
the cause had raised more than $1,700 on
the website youcaring.com/recess-medical-care-bills-474866.