For the staff at Douglas County Animal Care & Services in Gardnerville, Nevada, seeing pets dumped in front of the facility is a sad and frequent reality.
Shelter supervisor Liz Begovich and her co-workers stumbled upon another abandoned animal crate when they returned to work one recent morning.
But due to the severe hairiness of the creature shoved into the crate, it was difficult to initially identify the animal wedged inside.
The crate was dropped while the shelter was closed, and the unidentified man who brought it in was caught on their surveillance camera.
The cat was left after hours.(Douglas County Nevada/Facebook)
The staff assumed there was a dog inhabiting the crate because all they could see at first was "a matted mess," according to The Dodo.
What they discovered instead left them slack-jawed.
"We couldn't turn him around because of the way he was shoved in the carrier."
"So we took the top off and thought, 'Oh my gosh, it's a cat!' I've never seen a cat in that sort of condition."
Soon, all of this would come off.(Douglas County Nevada/Facebook)
The level of neglect the poor cat endured prompted the staff to post a notice on Facebook to help authorities find the man from the security footage.
Security footage of the man who dropped off a matted cat after hours.(Douglas County Nevada/Facebook)
With nothing but security footage, it is impossible to determine whether the unidentified man who dropped off the cat was the actual owner or not. But regardless of who he is, he did drop the animal off during the night.
The cat could have died while waiting for staff to arrive. And leaving without a note or anything left the staff to guess the cat's age and if it had health issues.
People were conflicted over condemning the suspect without knowing his full story.
One woman blamed the shelter.
While another pointed out that most shelters do charge people a fee when they surrender an animal.
Still, people wanted justice for the vulnerable animal.
The post described the horrible condition of the dejected feline.
"The cat's entire body of fur was matted and prevented the cat from moving freely."
"The cat was taken to Animal Medical Services, sedated and shaved and medical needs addressed including sores on the cat's body due to the matted hair pulling on the skin."
"It was an extreme case of animal neglect which had been culminating for years."
"They shaved about 4.5 pounds of hair off of him. It filled a full-size kitchen trash bag," Begovich said.
The staff also saw that the cat was overweight, weighing in at 22.6 pounds. The lack of mobility likely contributed to the cat's obesity.
A whole new cat.(Douglas County Nevada/Facebook)
Suddenly free from his matted trappings, the cat–who has since been named Bob Marley–suddenly felt rejuvenated. According to shelter supervisor Bergovich:
"Once the hair was off, he was walking around."
"I saw him looking up at the counter thinking, 'I can jump up there.' I thought, 'No you can't.'"
Still, people expressed mixed reactions to the person dropping the cat off.
One woman suggested the man might be a hero.
But another pointed out that abandoning an animal in the middle of the night is never a good thing.
Unfortunately, shelters across the country find animals dead or dying locked in crates without food or water outside their doors. Heat, cold or being attacked by another animal can kill an animal locked in a crate and abandoned outside a shelter.
And if the shelter is closed the next day or over a long weekend, the animal can be trapped without food and water, lying in their own waste, for more than just one night.
The animal shelter was praised for their care of Bob Marley.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is urging people with more information on the case to call DCSO Dispatch at (775) 782-5126 or Douglas County Secret Witness at: 775-78-CRIME (775-782-7463) or DCSO Sergeant B. Hubkey at (775) 782-9905.