Woman arrested in Warwick cat abandonment case

A "severely neglected" cat that authorities said was found frozen to a box near a dumpster in Warwick is on the mend, while a woman accused of neglecting it has been arrested. (RISPCA/Police photo)

A Warwick woman was arrested Tuesday in connection to a case involving a cat that was left for dead near a dumpster.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Donna Vessella, of Warwick, has been charged with one count of abandonment of an infirm animal, as well as one count of unnecessary cruelty.

The RISPA on Monday offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible. Within a day, authorities received several tips and made the arrest.

“This is another example of the Rhode Island community coming together in the fight against animal cruelty.” said Joe Warzycha of the RISPCA, “We are thankful for our supporters and all of those who make the work of the Rhode Island SPCA possible.”

Warwick Animal Control discovered the male Persian cat outside Bayside Apartments on Sandy Lane Feb. 8.

The RISPA said the "severely neglected" cat was found near a dumpster, with its fur frozen to a box.

The cat was taken to Warwick Animal Hospital, where staff members have been treating him. They shaved 11.2 pounds of fur from his body, according to the RISPCA.

Authorities said staffers also detected a heart murmur and are caring for his infected eyes.

"Luckily, this little guy is on the mend thanks to the great people at Warwick Animal Hospital and will be adopted by one of the people involved in caring for him," the RISPA said.

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