PITTSTON – Veterinarian Inayat Kathio told police he would drop everything he was doing and turn all his attention to the patient they were bringing in.
Jenkins Township police chief Frank Mudlock got a call Wednesday that a cat was running around with an animal trap attached to its leg near the Inkerman section of Main Street in Jenkins Township. After police caught the feline, they brought it to Dr. Kathio in Pittston, who Jenkins Township police say, has always handled animal problems for them in the past.
“It’s a very sad story,” Kathio said of the 2-year-old female cat he had to perform surgery on for over an hour.
Kathio said when the police arrived at his animal hospital in Pittston, the cat was in the back seat of the car. “It was vicious,” he said. “We couldn’t get close.” Kathio said he then got in the car with the animal and did a minor surgical procedure, subdued the cat, and then brought it into the hospital to inject necessary medications.
“The cat was in the trap for at least 24 hours,” he said. “It chewed the metal wire from the trap and got out.” Kathio said the trap was still attached to the cat’s flesh when it arrived at his hospital.
The cat, which Kathio believes is someone’s pet, had torn ligaments, tendons and muscles in its leg.
“I reattached them, fixed them, and the cat will walk again if circulation is good. If circulation isn’t good, it won’t walk again. It’s a 50/50 chance.”
Kathio, who owns the Pittston Animal Hospital and Wilkes-Barre Animal Hospital, said in the past year he has seen four injuries to animals because of animal traps. “These people should store them someplace. They are neglecting to monitor the traps and they should be fined.” Kathio said the traps not only put animals in danger, but children and people too.
The cost of the procedures Kathio performed would cost approximately $2,500. But since Kathio does surgeries like these for stray animals that enter his office, the money comes out of his own pocket.
Kathio, who has been a veterinarian since 1978, has animal hospitals in Mexico, Spain, Europe and Pakistan. He became interested in veterinary medicine at the age of four or five when he would visit the local SPCA in Pakistan. “I’ve grown up with animals … these things just come naturally.”
He says by doing community service work such as this, he feels like he is paying back America for the things the country did for him when he lived in Pakistan. “America used to send us aid, in milk and wheat, because we were poor and able to survive on that. I never forgot America and now I want to give something back.”
Kathio said to prevent lost pets, owners can get a microchip implanted into their pet that has an identification number on it.
If a pet is lost and brought to a veterinarian’s office, their body can be scanned for the chip, which includes the information of the owner, and pets can be returned home.