A kitten underwent surgery in Des Moines after being dropped off with AHeinz 57, the non-profit animal rescue group.

The tiny kitten’s name is Sunkist and he was brought to AHeinz 57 on Monday evening. As soon as the staff saw him, they knew he needed surgery. 

“He was skinny, his jaw was misaligned, he had a lot of swelling, a lot of scarred tissue, he had no sensation in his limb,” said the Medical Director at the Iowa Veterinary Referral Center, Christine Adams. 

According to AHeinz’s staff, the kitten was beaten with a baseball bat two weeks ago by a couple in Appanoose County. He was taken to the Iowa Veterinary Referral Center where he had surgery on Tuesday. Vets realigned his jaw but had to amputate his front leg.

“The neighbor had seen this happen and said it happens quite regularly at this person’s home, that they beat animals,” said the Owner of AHeinz 57 Amy Heinz.

Heinz says the man who brought him in was the third person to get the kitten. A relative of his couldn’t take care of it.

“She asked this guy to put it down by shooting it and he just couldn’t bring himself to shoot it so he brought it to us,” said Heinz.

Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for rescue teams to see animals this badly beaten, but each time it wears on the teams’ hearts. 

“Why would somebody do this? What triggers somebody to be that awful and be that monster?,” said Heinz.

The staff says seeing the animals survive in the end is the most rewarding part of their job.

“Probably the most worth while part of the job is being able to help little guys like this,” said Dr. Adams.

AHeinz is working on getting the name and address of the couple who did this in order to report them to authorities. They want to remind everyone to report any animal cruelty they see.