Thrown kitten, named Sam, had leg amputated; recovering


A kitten that was flung from a moving car into a concrete block wall is expected to make a full recovery even after having its front left leg amputated.

The 8-week-old male kitten was thrown from a maroon or red GMC Sonoma pickup truck driving on Camelot Ave. in Los Lunas on Wednesday, July 30, said Los Lunas police officer Nikki Baca.

Courtesy of Bosque Animal Clinic: At only 2 months old, Sam was thrown out the window of a moving vehicle and into a block wall last week.

A female witness was driving behind the vehicle when she saw the passenger throw something out the window, Baca said. The object struck the block wall on the side of the street and fell to the ground, according to the witness.

“When she got closer, she realized it was moving. She stopped, saw it was a kitten and decided to take it home,” the officer said.

Baca said the woman who witnessed the incident, and has remained anonymous, is not the owner of the kitten.

After getting the animal home, Baca said the woman realized its injuries were serious and took it to the Bosque Animal Clinic in Bosque Farms. Once there and assessed, the woman decided to turn the animal over to the clinic due to the expense of its care.

Dr. Samantha McKinney said the clinic often sees animals who can be cared for, but the owners are unable to pay. In those situations, the animals are surrendered to the clinic, cared for and eventually re-homed.

McKinney said when the woman brought the blue-eyed kitten in, he was “pretty shocky,” suffered from head trauma, a bloody nose, contusions to the head and a broken left elbow. He was also covered with fleas, the veterinarian said.

The kitten — now called Sam — was given intravenous fluids and pain medications to stabilize him and X-rays were done. Once he was stable, McKinney consulted an Albuquerque veterinarian about whether his broken leg could be saved.

“We mutually agreed that amputation was a kindness,” McKinney said Friday afternoon. “He is doing fine. He went through the surgery (Friday) very smoothly; his prognosis is great.”

McKinney said initially the clinic was planning to just absorb the cost of Sam’s care, as it has done in the past. But thanks to the publicity on this case, she said there has been an outpouring of donations.

“Any funds in excess of Sam’s care will be put in a Good Samaritan fund for other animals,” she said.

Sam will stay at the clinic, getting snuggles and watching “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” until he is completely recovered and rehabilitated.

“Without a doubt, he will have a home. Tons of people have been calling,” McKinney said. “We aren’t sure who it will be but as a clinic, we all need to decide together.”

Updates on Sam’s progress are being posted on the clinic’s Facebook page.

And an Albuquerque nonprofit, Alliance Against Animal Abuse, is hoping its $500 reward will motivate people to come forward with information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the kitten’s injuries.

“I saw the news story and thought it was really crappy, to throw a kitten like that,” said Barbara Tellier, president and cofounder of the alliance. “I wish (the reward) could be more, but we’re a small organization.”

To claim the reward, information will have to be given to the authorities, not the alliance, Tellier said.

“We are a humane organization, not the authorities. If someone were arrested and convicted, then whoever reported them would get the reward based on information given to the police department,” she said. “We want people to realize this kind of business is not legal. There are animal cruelty laws locally and across the state. This is a violation of all of them. There are laws against this whether people like it or not.”

Baca said Sam’s case is considered animal cruelty — a felony.

Anyone with information about the incident can call the non-emergency dispatch number, 865-9130, text the LLPD tip line anonymously at 274637 with they keyword “LLPD” at beginning of the message or submit information online at

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