Critically Injured Cat ‘Thrown Away Like Trash’ Gets Second Chance at Life

A one-year-old cat named “Gingerbread” is recovering from life-saving surgery at the MSPCA after a Waltham Animal Control officer rushed the critically injured animal to its Waltham facility on Dec. 9.

Gingerbread recovers after surgery at the MSPCA. (credit MSPCA-Angell)

Gingerbread was found locked inside a plastic and metal cat carrier along with a blanket, but with no food or water. The carrier was left alongside a dumpster in the back of a residence in Waltham. The city’s Animal Control officer Deanna Gualtieri, responding to a tip from a good Samaritan who found her, rushed the cat to the MSPCA-West where she was stabilized before being taken to Boston.

Both Gingerbread’s jaw and right front leg were shattered, requiring surgery performed by Dr. Emily Ulfelder of the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center. “We were able to repair her broken mandible [jaw] but her leg was too damaged to be saved,” said Dr. Ulfelder, who opted to amputate the leg instead.

The nature of Gingerbread’s injuries point toward a run-in with a fast moving car versus physical abuse or a fall from a significant height. But just who is responsible for abandoning her beside the dumpster is a mystery. “Fortunately she’s now safe and in our hands,” said Andrea Bessler of the MSPCA’s Shalit-Glazer clinic, in which Gingerbread’s surgery took place on Dec. 12.

“We may never know who left her outside to fend for herself but we’re going to do everything we can to ensure she finds a safe and loving home,” she said.

Gingerbread will require several weeks to recover from her ordeal, after which she will be available for adoption. Anyone interested in adopted Gingerbread may email adoption@mspca.org for more information.

The Waltham Animal Control Department, meantime, is asking that anyone who may know who is responsible for leaving Gingerbread outside to call the Waltham Police Department at 781-642-6166.