Cat burned with acid in North Austin

A woman in Northwest Austin found her cat badly burned with acid. Now, she's warning others in her area to keep their cats inside until they find the person responsible.

Thirteen years ago Elizabeth Harwell rescued a kitten from a dumpster in Inks Lake and gave him a home.

“The name ‘Bullet’ fit him. That was one of the fastest cats and he loved to talk,” said Harwell.

Saturday, that talkative, grey, tabby cat wasn't his usual self. When Elizabeth found him, the fur on Bullet's right shoulder was matted and bloody.

“It was an acidic chemical burn,” said Harwell. 

Harwell took the cat to PetSmart and he was treated for five hours, then released. For the next few days she watched as he slowly deteriorated.

“It was a very, very cruel death. He suffered a lot and I couldn't watch him anymore,” Harwell said. 

Wednesday, Elizabeth said goodbye to bullet.

“It tore me up. I was losing my friend. I was losing my little, talking friend,” said Harwell. 

Harwell hopes whoever is responsible will be found and charged for the crime.

“Please, whoever’s out there doing this, go get help. And even if it was only a one-time thing, go get help. Even one incident with an animal is one too many,” Harwell said. 

“It indicates a lack of empathy, that the individual doesn't have any concern for the animal and is even willing to inflict intentional harm like that to help themselves feel better in some way,” said psychotherapist David Jenkins.

Jenkins said animal abuse is most often a symptom of an underlying mental health issue.

“Usually they are people who have a pretty deep psychological problem going on and quite often it's somebody who has experienced abuse to themselves at some point in their life,” said Jenkins.

Elizabeth's home may never be the same, but she knows Bullet isn't suffering anymore

“It’s weird. I have a Chihuahua puppy and she's looking for him. It's different. I don't have the meow, meow, meow, meow, meow,” said Harwell. 

Harwell said she plans to report the crime to 3-1-1.

Animal cruelty is a felony punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and two years in jail.

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