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Officials investigating potential animal cruelty case after cats found covered in sealant

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Posted at 6:13 PM, Jul 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-14 00:05:36-04

WARNING: Some of the images in the video below may be disturbing to some viewers.

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- Officials with West Valley City Animal Services are investigating a possible animal cruelty case after two kittens were found covered in what appeared to be glue.

It appears both kittens were submerged in a concrete sealant, and one was injured so badly it died Saturday night at the veterinary clinic where it was being cared for. The other is recovering, thanks to the efforts of a kind stranger.

“Its legs were stuck together, its tail, its whole side: It couldn’t move, it couldn’t walk,” Jeanette Gilman said.

Gilman had been working in her garden last month around 9 p.m. when she heard cries coming from her side yard. She and her husband went to investigate.

“We took the flashlight and looked at it, and he says ‘Oh my. I don’t think this one’s going to make it.' He says, 'I don’t know what’s on it.' I says, ‘It looks like tar.’”

Gilman said the kitten was stuck to the ground on the other side of this fence. After a few attempts, she and her husband were able to pick the cat up and bring it inside.

She said: “I thought, well, either I can let it lay here and die, or I can take it in and what’s it going to hurt to try to clean it up?"

With dish soap and warm water, Jeannette washed the kitten again and again for hours until his legs and tail came un-glued

“I thought it died in my hands a couple times,” she said. “It just lay there and let me do what I needed to do to it.”

The male kitty was brought here to the West Valley City Animal Services, where investigators are trying to determine just what happened to the young cats.

“The vet really thought it was evident of animal cruelty because the kittens were completely submerged and completely covered,” said Autumn Wagner of Best Friends Animal Society.

Richard Stanley lives right next door, he and his wife caught the kitten’s sister. The feline appeared to have been totally submerged in the concrete sealant Stanley, who is a general contractor, had in his yard.

“It looked like a little shaved rat, the hair was all gunked together, so it didn't look like it had hair on it,” Stanley said.

Once the second kitten was caught, she was taken to an animal hospital--Where she died Saturday night.

“After a week of trying to trap the kitty, finally trapping the kitty, so they think it was just too long of the chemical being on her skin, could be soaking in, she could be trying to clean herself and ingesting,” Wagner said.

Now animal services officials are investigating the incident as a possible animal cruelty case, but Stanley said he thinks it looks like a bad accident.

“I think the cats got up on these blocks and just misfortune that it got feet stuck in here,” he said.

The kitten who survived is available for adoption through West Valley City Animal Services, click here to visit their website.