When Christine Rolston saw a photo of a sickly-looking kitten in an Ontario pet store, she immediately alerted her fellow volunteers at All Paws Rescue. "I was heartbroken and went into panic mode being the cat lover I am," she told BuzzFeed Canada.
The photo was taken by her brother, Braydon Dennee, at PJ's Pets in Bramalea City Centre. He saw the kitten and was told by the store manager that the kitten was healthy. Dennee passed by the store a little while later and saw the kitten had been taken out of of public view by the store, according to the Brampton Guardian.
“It just didn’t look healthy at all,” Dennee told the paper.
He posted the photo to Facebook and his sister immediately alerted All Paws Rescue.
Rolston's efforts caused the images to spread as people began using them to raise awareness of what they felt was a sick kitten in need of help. PJ's was soon inundated with Facebook comments and calls.
Two members of the rescue group also visited the store and asked to see the kitten. They and others notified the Ontario SPCA, which opened an investigation.
PJ's is cooperating with the OSPCA and is replying to comments on its Facebook page. It said Brampton Animal Services inspected the store and found it in "full compliance." It also said a veterinarian "found the kitten to be small but not in poor health."
PJ's later posted a note it said was written by a second veterinarian to see the kitten. The doctor said the kitten was "slightly under weight" but healthy. "Abyssinian cats are known to be a very lean and active breed," the doctor wrote.
Rolston said she's happy her efforts resulted in so much attention for the kitten. But she remains skeptical of the vet reports provided by PJ's. "I pray this kitten gets the medical care I believe is desperately needed," she said.
Craig Silverman is a media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.
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