NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - SPCA Suncoast has started a fundraising campaign for Hugo, a cat that was found with severe chemical burns on a road in Hernando County. CAUTION: GRAPHIC PHOTOS
Hugo's wounds spanned the length of the left side of his body. According to veterinarians, he was likely walking around with the open wound for at least four weeks before someone spotted him.
"It's absolutely heartbreaking," said Kerrianne Farrow, executive director of the SPCA Suncoast. "With an open wound that was so severe, we wanted to absolutely reach out and help and do whatever we could for him."
The burns are consistent with someone possibly splashing the cat with a chemical. At this point - it's not clear whether it was intentional or unintentional.
Hernando County authorities do not have any leads.
The SPCA says Hugo will need intensive medical care to treat his wounds, an auto skin graft, and 4 to 6 weeks of daily wound dressing.
"It's going to take a long time for it to heal, and if we didn't jump in when we did, it could have stayed open and just healed on its own like that. It never would have fully closed," said Farrow.
Hugo will likely need more than one surgery to successfully stretch his remaining skin over the wound to close it.
Despite his condition, the SPCA says Hugo is a sweet and loving cat and will make a wonderful addition to someone's family once he recovers.
"We don't know what happened to him, unfortunately. We just know that we're going to try and give him the best life we possibly can going forward," said Farrow.
Hugo will undergo his first surgery on Friday, November 27.
If you'd like more information or to help Hugo, you can find a link to do just that on the SPCA Suncoast Facebook page.