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Sophie was stabbed and almost drowned

posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 in News

UPDATE (11/17/20, 9:00 a.m)

Rosemary Buelow of Des Moines was found guilty of animal torture related to the cat Sophie. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2021, at 9 a.m. at the Polk County Historic Courthouse.

The next hearing for Ryan Johnson is currently scheduled for Dec. 3, 2020.

UPDATE (05/29/20, 9:39 a.m)

An additional person, Ryan Johnson, 38, was arrested and charged with Animal Torture yesterday afternoon in connection with the cat stabbing case. Ryan Johnson is no longer in the Polk County jail, but Rosemary Buelow remains in custody as of this morning. The Animal Rescue League would like to extend a huge thank you to the Des Moines Police Department for taking this case seriously and pursuing the investigation, which ultimately led to an additional arrest and charge.

Sophie is continuing to receive treatment in the ARL’s Miracle Medical Ward under the supervision of our veterinary team.

Ryan Johnson

ORIGINAL POST (05/29/20, 9:39 a.m)

The Animal Rescue League is always there for animals in need — every day, every hour — including this weekend at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning when we were called to assist Des Moines Police. We arrived to find something truly horrifying: A cat huddled in the bathroom, bleeding from multiple stab wounds, soaking wet, and terrified.

The woman allegedly responsible for the injuries is accused of repeatedly stabbing the cat, then trying to drown her when stabbing didn’t work.

Sophie with stab wound

We rushed the injured cat, and 2 others in the apartment, to the ARL, where our on-call veterinarian was waiting and ready to provide emergency care. The injured cat, whose name is Sophie, was suffering from 3 large stab wounds to her back. Her flesh was raw and bleeding, and the weapon had narrowly missed her spine. Sophie’s neck had also been sliced and she was suffering from a fifth stab wound near her shoulder.

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We immediately started her on pain medications and antibiotics and gently cleaned her wounds to prepare her for what was next: The wounds on her back were so severe that they required a long line of staples to close. The wound near her shoulder is still very swollen and we don’t know yet if it will require surgery. We’re also watching her closely for signs of pneumonia from water inhalation. Despite all she has been through, Sophie is an incredibly sweet cat and a model patient.

Victims like Sophie are the reason our emergency responders — and our Miracle Medical Fund — are so critical. Had it not been for our team’s quick response and the emergency veterinary care we were able to provide in the middle of the night, Sophie may not have survived and she still has a long road ahead.

We don’t yet know what surgeries or procedures she will need during her recovery, but we know that with your help, Sophie will never again experience the terror she went through this weekend.

Your donation to our Miracle Medical Fund allows us to respond to the call for help for pets like Sophie at all hours, day or night. Your one-time donation today will help Sophie right now and your monthly donation will help Sophie and other animals who need life-saving help next.

With your help we can continue to provide critical care for pets who are hurt and in pain with nowhere else to turn.

P.S.: Rosemary Kay Buelow, 21, is currently in the Polk County Jail and charged with animal torture (photo below).

Rosemary Buelow's mugshot