by Chet Hardin
In response to our reporting on the end-of-life battle between rat owner Casandra Barelli and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, Katie Borremans, the humane society's associate director of communications, has released the last photo taken of the pet rat, Natalie.
Barelli was charged with animal cruelty when she brought Natalie in to be euthanized. Those charges were dropped by the Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office after Barelli made a contribution to the humane society.
Along with the photo, Borremans has released the necropsy report.
As Borremans wrote in an email:
I know during the case we could not provide much information as the investigation was on-going, but now that the case is closed, I would like to share our side of the story based on the veterinarian’s findings.
You can see two very large tumors, one under her neck and one between her legs. There were also multiple open and infected sores, including the one you see on her side. Attached is the necropsy report from our veterinarian, which outlines additional findings, including the fact that Natalie most likely couldn’t walk well because of the size of the tumors and that she was extremely malnourished. As stated in the necropsy, our veterinarian indicated this was a severe case of neglect where Natalie could not move around without traumatizing herself.
HSPPR staff takes cruelty to animals very seriously. Because animals can’t speak for themselves, it is our duty to make sure they are cared for appropriately and do not suffer. Unfortunately, Natalie did not receive the veterinary care she so desperately needed and this was a clear case of animal neglect.
You can read the necropsy report: necropsy_report.pdf.pdf
You can also view the photo of Natalie after the jump, but be warned, it isn't pleasant.