Bay Point, CA
"Tom," the cat who was the victim of dog fighting training in Bay Point, rescued and treated for his multiple wounds, is making good progress in his recovery. In fact, he has recovered to the point where he was able to be neutered today, and he will soon be leaving the veterinary hospital and going to a temporary foster home while awaiting adoption. Over 40 people have called and offered to adopt Tom, and they will be re-contacted and a decision made very shortly as to who will be Tom's new family.
To those of you who've asked if you can help with his veterinary bills, thank you, and yes, if you are able to, a donation would help. About $600 has been donated already, but Tom's initial emergency hospital bill alone was $800.
Thanks to everyone for caring.
Voices For Pets - 925-685-5388
August 1, 2001
Reward to Find Tom's TorturerTom is a sweet approximately 2-year-old cat rescued on June 16th by Sharon Fievez, a vet tech who saw Tom lying near death in the middle of a Bay Point street. Tom had been tethered with a steel cable and used as bait in training dogs to be vicious. With the cable wrapped around him, he was put in a plastic bag and placed in the street to be run over. Fortunately, Sharon rescued him and called Voices For Pets.
When Sharon saw the plastic bag in the street and then realized a cat's head was sticking out, she thought he was dead. On a second drive by, she noticed the cat's head had moved, so she stopped the car and got out. She found him lying on his left side, with his head raised, his head covered with dirt and blood. The rest of his body was hidden by the plastic bag, but a hole in the bottom of the bag showed that a plastic-covered cable wound around his hindquarters and at the end of the cable was a clip. Sharon noticed a group of men in a nearby yard who were keenly observing her as she picked Tom up and placed him in her car.
At her friend's house a few minutes later, they removed the bag and found the other end of the cable was clipped to the cat's collar. They removed the cable and collar and found the right side of the cat's head was swollen and the pupil of his right eye was constricted and his right nostril was filled with blood. They also found blood in his mouth and some of his teeth were missing. He kept drifting in and out of consciousness.
Sharon called me and I asked that she take Tom in for treatment, and asked that she not touch the plastic bag or cable any more than necessary, and to place them in a new bag to preserve the evidence. Sharon took Tom to the Emergency Clinic. He was examined there by Dr. Greene, who found, in addition to the injuries mentioned above, multiple puncture wounds that she said were consistent with bite wounds made by a dog. Dr. Greene placed the cat on IV fluids and medicated him for shock and head trauma.
The happy part of this story is that Tom has recovered and is doing amazingly well, is in foster care and ready to go to a new home. He was even well enough on July 10th to be neutered and just in general has had an amazing recovery. The response of law enforcement to this case, on the other hand, is far from an uplifting story.
On June 21st, I called the Bay Point Police Station and asked for an officer who was familiar with the neighborhood and was put in touch with an Officer Miguel Deluna. Then Officer Deluna watched as volunteers distributed reward posters asking for information from the people who live in the neighborhood where Tom was found.
In response to our reward poster, Voices For Pets has received tips from the neighborhood that included information that could not have been know from either the media or from our reward poster. These are good people who want something done and they have agreed to talk with and give their statements to Officer Deluna. (Over a month later these witnesses have still not been contacted.)
On June 25th I called Officer Deluna and told him of tips from the reward poster. Officer Deluna asked me to write a statement, get a statement from Sharon, and to deliver the physical evidence (the plastic bag and cable) to him. We were to meet the next day at 4:00 p.m., and he said he would send the evidence to the county crime lab. He gave me his business number to call and we arranged to meet the following day.
On June 26th, I met with KTVU news people at Disney Pet Hospital in Concord (where Tom had been transferred after leaving the Emergency Clinic), as they wanted to do a story on Tom. I also faxed my statement and Sharon's statement to Officer Deluna and left a message at the phone number he had given me, saying that I would meet with him as arranged. Officer Deluna did not call me back and has not returned repeated phone calls.
Also on June 26th, Jim Hurwitz, the KTVU program director, called Officer Deluna and Officer Deluna agreed to be interviewed. However, when the KTVU news team went out to the Bay Point police station to speak with Officer Deluna, a Lt. Devaull told them that Officer Deluna was not available and that the Sheriff's Department was not involved. Officer Deluna seemed like a good guy and I believe that had the decision been left up to him, he would have followed through and kept his word.
(Note: Bay Point contracts with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Dept. to provide police services to Bay Point, so all Bay Point officers are members of the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Dept.)
On July 17th, I called the District Attorney's office and spoke with Senior Deputy D.A., Robert Kochly, who has filed to run for Contra Costa County D.A. in the upcoming election. He said he would look into it and try to find out what was going on and would get back to me. As of the writing of this update, I have not yet heard from him.
Increasingly concerned about the lack of response from law enforcement, on July 16th, I had called elected Contra Costa County Sheriff, Warren Rupf. His secretary said that I should fill out a complaint form that she would send me. That complaint form has been filled out.
Please write to:
Contra Costa County
Martinez, CA 94553-0039
Please address your letters to Mr. Rupf, but send them to Voices For Pets, and we will be sure that he, and other appropriate officials, receive them.
Ask that he follow through and order a true investigation of Tom's case, talk to the witnesses, send the physical evidence to the county crime lab, and not allow the evidence to be taken and put on a shelf, never to be seen or heard about again. So that is where Tom's case stands at this point. The physical evidence carefully collected has not been sent to the crime lab, tips from neighbors have not been followed up, and our calls to the Bay Point Police have not been returned.
Two days after Tom was used as bait, 10-year-old Shawn Jones in Richmond was attacked.
When will law enforcement learn? If their thinking is that this is just a cat and therefore not worthy of their time, then recent incidents should certainly cause them to rethink that point of view.
Leroy Moyer, Director
Voices For Pets
P.O. Box 30836
Walnut Creek, CA 94598