The internet is rallying around "Buddy the Cat" after recently released video allegedly showed a teenager and 12-year-old were caught on camera attacking the feline with dogs.
According to the Pennsylvania SPCA, the two minors, who have not been publicly named, were seen on a home security video in Philadelphia's Frankford neighborhood. Partial video of the incident was published by NBC News affiliate NBC10, and reviewed by TODAY, and appears to show two dogs being let off their leashes and encouraged to attack a cornered cat. The fight appears to end when a resident comes out of the house and intervenes.
On Friday, the 17-year-old and 12-year old surrendered themselves to authorities, according to the Pennsylvania SPCA. According to the organization, the minors are being charged with “felony animal fighting, felony aggravated animal cruelty and a conspiracy charge.”
The Pennsylvania SPCA said on social media that the duo came in “with a parent to address the charges” and now they’ve “been taken into custody and are pending a custodial determination hearing.” The dogs used in the attack have "also been taken into the custody" of the Pennsylvania SPCA and are "currently on hold attached to the investigation."
Because the suspects are minors and have not been identified, TODAY has not been able to contact them or their families.
Throughout the ordeal, the organization has rallied community support for Buddy. The cat is still in “critical condition, but his prognosis is hopeful.”
The Pennsylvania SPCA has started a fund to cover Buddy’s “medical care and the cost of bringing his attackers to justice.” While the organization declined to say exactly how much money had been raised, a spokesperson told TODAY that the current total was "in the tens of thousands of dollars."
“... The outpouring of support for Buddy the cat and the effort to bring the offenders to justice has been overwhelming,” Julie Klim, CEO of the Pennsylvania SPCA, told TODAY in a statement.
On Saturday, the Pennsylvania SPCA thanked the employees of the BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, who they said took "such good care of Buddy" as he recovered.
While Buddy still has a long road, the Pennsylvania SPCA said they are focusing on his future.
“Right now, we are focused on his recovery. And, still keeping our fingers crossed that he does in fact make a full recovery," the organization told TODAY. "If that happens, he will be in search of a home where he can be exclusively kept inside.”
In her statement, Klim said the public support surrounding Buddy's attack has been inspiring.
“While we certainly see a lot of bad as we fight to end animal cruelty, we also see how much good there is, especially in a case like this, from all corners of the globe,” Klim said. “We will do everything humanly and medically possible to ensure Buddy’s future will be a bright one.”