Michigan Lakeshore: Local Search Heats Up in Severe Animal Abuse Case

Each year, millions of kittens are born. Some make it into a home, some get to a shelter but are euthanized while others become feral and live off the lands. Many are victims of animal abuse. A local township along Lake Michigan in Michigan has been dealing with an extreme case of animal abuse.

On Aug. 16th, 2011, a litter of seven kittens were found scattered around a box on what is referred to as Old Skeels Road. Old Skeels Road is no longer maintained by the county and subsequently has become overgrown with bushes, trees and other plants. Unfortunately, this also makes it the perfect location for someone to dump a litter of kittens.

At the time of their discovery, only five kittens were still clinging to life. Two had already died from their injuries after being maliciously thrown from a moving vehicle at unknown speeds. Unfortunately, despite being rescued, two more kittens died later that same day.

What makes this case extraordinary is the loving, happy disposition that one kitten managed to maintain throughout it all. Adlai Grace, as she was named, had gone through such trauma and abuse that not even photographs could truly portray her injuries. After being thrown from a moving vehicle, Adlai suffered severe spinal damage that had caused paralysis of her lower half, incontinence and shifting of her ribcage and lungs.

In fact, not only was Adlai a loving, playful kitten; had it not been for her diaper or the twisting of her spine, many people never would have known the difficulties or trauma she had endured during her short life.

Adlai was cared for by a local woman by the name of Wendy Michelle Matthews. Ms. Matthews cared for Adlai Grace and noted that “Adlai cradled herself all the time.” She went on to add that she “wondered if it was because she was hurting or if it was from being scared out there in those woods.”

Despite the efforts of Matthews and her veterinarian, Adlai passed away on October 12th, 2011 from difficulties breathing associated with her injuries.

The search is heating up as more West Michigan residents learn of Adlai’s difficult but short journey in life. Currently, a reward of $500 is being offered for information relating to the case that leads to the arrest and conviction of Adlai and her siblings’ abuser.

There are also several Facebook pages dedicated to Adlai including the original ‘Adlai Grace’ and ‘Justice for Adlai Grace’ pages. A petition is also circling the web to help end animal abuse and find Adlai’s abuser.

Interviews with: Wendy Michelle Matthews, Heather O’Conner

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