CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) --The District Attorney filed one felony count of animal cruelty against a man accused of taping a cats paws and stuffing it in his backpack.
Clovis police officers made the sad discovery over the weekend and arrested the suspect, Cody High. A vet said the cat is improving but still suffers from some anxiety.
Veterinarians treating a severely abused cat said if it had been stuck in a backpack any longer it would have ended in death.
Pictures taken Tuesday morning at a Clovis vet hospital show the male feline recovering from physical injuries after he was bound with electrical tape. Detectives are relying on medical information from a vet to determine the length of time the helpless cat may have been struggling to survive in the confined and cramped quarters-- it's nose was even taped closed. "That is something the veterinarians are trying to figure out. How long the cat was in the condition that he was," said Sgt. Jim Koch, Clovis Police Department.
It's unclear where the suspect got the cat or if he knew the owner. Detectives are trying to track down the owners since the cat was micro-chipped.
Clovis police officers found it while questioning 24-year-old High behind the Walmart on Shaw and Peach. Officers said he was acting suspicious and his prior past allowed them to dig further. "When people are on probation, they are open to search-- or allowed to look in their property. Once you open up a backpack, sometimes you find weapons, sometimes you find drugs. At this point, it's very unusual to find an animal in that type of condition," said Koch.
Court records show the suspect has a prior record for drug possession and driving under the influence. He was also convicted of vandalism.
He is being held in the Fresno County jail on charges of animal cruelty and possession of drug paraphernalia.