Sanctuary rescues cat thrown from 12th floor of Minneapolis apartment

tabby cat wearing clear cone and leg splints
A year-old tabby cat named Rue suffered a broken leg, foot and jaw after being thrown from a 12th story apartment balcony in Minneapolis on June 24.
Courtesy of Home for Life

A cat thrown from a 12th-story apartment balcony in Minneapolis last month is recovering after a Twin Cities animal sanctuary arranged intensive veterinary care.

The year-old tabby named Rue suffered a broken leg, foot and jaw, but no internal injuries.

Lisa LaVerdiere, the founder and executive director of Stillwater-based Home for Life, said that a surgeon glued the cat's jaw shut so it can heal, and Rue will eat through a tube for the next month.

"This little kitty is so courageous,” LaVerdiere said. “She’s trying to wash her face with her legs still in these splints, and she tries to eat, even though she can't really open or close her mouth."

LaVerdiere said that she learned about Rue from Minneapolis Animal Control on June 24.

“They sent out an emergency email about this little cat that had been brought in by the police, and several people and a juvenile reported that she had fallen, and they thought they saw her thrown from a 12th-story balcony,” LaVerdiere said.

No other shelters or animal rescue groups volunteered to take Rue, the French word for “street,” LaVerdiere said, so Home For Life rescued Rue hours before she was to have been euthanized.

“I just wanted to defy the cruelty. Somebody threw her away like that, and I felt like Home for Life was saying no you’re not going to do that. She’s not going to end up that way.”

She said Rue’s care will cost several thousand dollars and that one veterinarian said that treating the animal’s broken jaw alone would cost $10,000.

Another surgeon was able to perform the procedure for less by using a dental bonding technique typically used on humans to temporarily immobilize Rue’s jaw.

Rue is living with a Home For Life staff member. LaVerdiere said it’s possible that the cat could be put up for adoption depending on how well she recovers.

LaVerdiere noted that intentionally injuring an animal this severely can be prosecuted as a felony in Minnesota, but she said that it’s unclear if authorities are investigating who may have been responsible.