Cat Shot 30 Times is Doing Well and Waiting to Be Adopted
She would have, had a passerby not stopped to investigate the strange sounds coming from the bay in the early morning hours on Wednesday.
The carrier was crudely labeled with the words "Kitty Penitentiary," "Cell 666 Est. 2010," "Jailer Missy" and "Inmate Mittens." Upon spotting the carrier in the water, the passerby pulled it out, saw a cat in distress inside and took her to an all-night veterinary clinic, where x-rays showed her multiple pellet wounds.
"The torment that this animal went through is nuts. Whoever did this intended to kill the cat," says Dennis McCollough, operations manager of the Hillsborough County Animal Services, which has taken custody of the animal. "They probably ran out of pellets and the cartridge was probably depleted, which is why the pellets didn't enter deeply into the body cavity."
McCollough and his investigative team suspect that the culprits are juveniles –the handwriting on the carrier is one clue –and that worries them, because they say that children who commit acts of animal cruelty will very likely grow up to commit crimes against humans. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay and the community are offering a reward of $2,000 for any information leading to the arrest of the responsible parties.
The cat, who has since been named Lovey, is stable and doing fine, according to McCollough. The pellets will not be removed from her body, as the process would be even more traumatic for her and could make her more susceptible to disease. Lovey will soon be ready to find her new forever home –and there has been no shortage of applications from potential adopters.
"She's very loving and caring," McCollough says. "She wants to be petted and is not an aggressive animal that would have hurt anyone."
The Hillsborough County Animal Services is continuing its investigation, and welcomes any information regarding this case. They can be contacted by phone at (813) 744-5660.
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