A cat is recovering after being found left for dead, its front and hind legs bound with duct tape, inside a box that was tossed from a car in Highland Park earlier this month.
A photo of the taped up feline was subsequently posted on the Nextdoor app on July 7, which caught the attention of Angie Infante.
“My heart broke instantly,” she told KTLA on Thursday. “The cat was alive but very mistreated, very skinny, flea-infested.”
Moved to action, Infante reached out to help. She and her husband, Oscar Bustos, ultimately adopted the cat, naming her Gaia.
Thanks to the social media app and surveillance cameras, neighbors know how she got there — but they still don’t know who dumped the cat.
Cameras in the area showed a silver two-door sedan driving through the alley along Irvington Place near Avenue 53, with a box being held out of the sunroof. Moments later, the box was thrown from the moving car.
In addition to the driver, there appeared to be a passenger in the front seat, according to the surveillance video.
“I just couldn’t believe there’s someone out there who would do that to a living creature,” Infante said.
The cat was microchipped, and Infante told KTLA that the former owner was contacted by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.
“The owner said the pet wasn’t eating, that she’s old, that she lost her appetite … it just doesn’t really make sense,” Infante said. “If you don’t want the cat just leave it, leave it alone, I don’t know, that’s just — it’s just sick.”
The veterinarian told the couple that Gaia is at least 7 years old, hadn’t eaten in some time and had flea anemia.
Infante and Bustos have spent about $1,200 so far on vet bills, and they’ve established a GoFundMe page for donations to help with Gaia’s recovery.
Anyone with information on the driver or the incident can contact LAPD’s Animal Cruelty Task Force at the 24-hour notification hotline at 213-486-0450 or email email@example.com.