CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An online petition is seeking for justice for an abandoned and abused kitten named Justus.
A set of animal rescue volunteers in Clay County brought the case to the public's attention, and the news of the petition is spreading like wildfire -- already reaching nearly 14,000 signatures.
For the past 12 years, Marni Killingsworth and her daughter Holly Cunningham have been volunteering their time to rescue abused and abandoned animals throughout the county, and they say the problem has reached extremes.
"Every entrance into this county should say home of the world's largest producer of potential serial killers, because of the things we've seen and the things that have sadly gone unseen," Cunningham said.
Last month, they saw it once again when a kitten who appeared to have been tortured was brought to Marni's home.
"It was just screaming in pain. It has blood in its mouth, it had blood dripping from it. I mean basically it was being skinned alive," Killingsworth said.
Justus's injuries were so brutal that even with medical care, he only survived a day.
Part of the problem is Clay County's lack of a county-operated humane society. A county commissioner said the county's budget only has room for the basics now.
So with a little help from a local attorney and social media, a petition is circulating to bring attention to this problem. West Virginia State Police also are looking into the case.
In this case, it's to bring justice for a tortured kitten with the same name -- Justus -- and to help others, so that they don't suffer the same abuse.