A cat rescued from a brutal attack, allegedly at the hands of a group of grade school children in Paterson, N.J., has died.
The children, all under the age of 10, are accused of hitting the cat with stones, bricks and sticks, fracturing the animal's leg and skull and costing it an eye. Two older children have said they stepped in to rescue the cat and chased away the attackers.
Renee Olah, the founder of Hackensack-based Chance at Life Cat Rescue, took the cat to an animal hospital for life-saving surgery, but it died after days of struggling from its injuries. The cat had come to be known as Quattro, named after P.S. 4 in Paterson.
The accused children will be suspended for five days and will receive counseling, said Terry Corallo, executive director of information services for the Paterson School District. Police and child welfare officials were also contacted, he said.
Olah questioned whether the attack may have been prompted by a recent video of a cat being kicked.
“How far is this going to go? Is it going to be another cat next week?" she said. "I can only hope that they're scared and they learn from this that they'll never do it again."
The investigating officer for the Passaic County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has referred the case to the police department's juvenile bureau, and cruelty charges could be filed.
The police are still interviewing eyewitnesses, and the accused children could face court-ordered counseling. Their parents could face fines.