Mutilated kitten wins PDSA pet survivor of the year award

A kitten whose owner believes it was attacked deliberately and suffered horrendous injuries has been named PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year 2019.

Woody the cat required life-saving surgery for his severe wounds which included a ripped abdomen and severed tail.

He disappeared for several hours one evening last July, and it was only on closer examination that his owner Stephanie Wood and the rest of the family in Battle, East Sussex, discovered his injuries.

Ms Wood said: "It's been a tough year for Woody and the whole family, but it's ended on a high by winning this award.

"Thankfully the experience hasn't changed his personality - he's such a friendly little cat, and will do anything for a cuddle or a treat. We couldn't imagine life without him.

"Thanks so much to the team at Sussex Coast Vets, to PDSA for recognising our miracle kitten, and to everyone who donated towards his care and voted for him to win."

Woody, a "precious companion" for Ms Wood's son, who has autism, was taken to the private practice where he spent eight days in intensive care.

He was kept on strict cage rest for three weeks and wore a special medi-jacket to protect his wounds.

Woody needed further surgery due to an infection, but he seemed determined to survive.

Ms Wood, who crowdfunded Woody's £5,000 treatment, reported the matter to police and it was investigated as a case of animal mutilation.

"We'd heard of other cats in the area having similar wounds, it was awful to think someone might've done this deliberately," she said.

A PDSA spokeswoman said: "When he disappeared for several hours one evening, his family became worried. Later on he suddenly jumped through the living room window, but just sat on the sofa quietly and was eerily calm.

"Stephanie noticed immediately there was something wrong with his paw, but it wasn't until they went to check him that they noticed his other horrific injuries.

"First they realised that most of his tail was missing, but the stump wasn't bleeding, it was as if the wound had been cauterised.

"Then they noticed a deep slash on his tummy - and were horrified when they realised they could see his insides. They rushed him straight to the vet, terrified that this was the end for little Woody."

She added: "Finally, after months of recovery and rehabilitation he's back to his normal cheeky self, and doesn't seem to be bothered by his missing tail."