Cat owner convicted for failing to treat chemical burns

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The cat suffered burns and other injuries all over her body

A cat owner was convicted of negligence after refusing treatment for her cat’s severe chemical burns. (Multnomah County DA)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A cat almost died after her owner refused treatment for suspected chemical burns all over her body.

According to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, Marlene Hsieh took her cat, Muzi, to a vet in January 2019 with facial burns and other injuries that staff believed were several weeks to a month old.

“The left side of Muzi’s face was missing fur, covered in scabs and Muzi was unable to open her left eye,” said Multnomah County Deputy DA Maddie Loeb, who prosecuted the case. “Muzi’s right hind foot had lost its claws, pads and toes, leaving bones exposed.”

Veterinarians aren’t sure exactly what caused Muzi’s injuries, but believe it was chemicals.

Despite the obvious injuries and Muzi’s extensive pain, the DA’s office said Hsieh refused treatment.

Staff reported the neglect to Multnomah County Animal Services, who removed Muzi from Hsieh and took her to DoveLewis for treatment.

The DA’s office said during the trial, staff said Muzi was “unduly suffering” and would have died from sepsis without treatment. With treatment, she has made the “best recovery possible.”

Hsieh was convicted of criminal negligence and sentenced to 1 year of probation and 40 hours of community service. She is also not allowed to own any cats for 5 years. Muzi and 3 other cats will be given new homes.

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