The search is on to find the person responsible for shooting a cat with a slug gun in Beachlands last weekend.
A givealittle page has been set up as a reward fund, which will be paid out to anyone who provides information that leads to the conviction and prosecution of the person responsible.
The page was set up by Manukau After Hours Veterinary Clinic after staff treated one-year-old tuxedo cat Richie, who arrived at the clinic in a critical condition, struggling to breathe, lethargic and refusing to eat.
An X-ray showed three slug gun pellets underneath Richie’s skin, one of which had punctured a lung causing internal bleeding.
Niki Hotter, Manukau After Hours Clinic staff member, says they suspect the attack was deliberate.
“One pellet could mean it was an accident, but three means that somebody was most likely aiming at Richie. I would hate to think there is somebody out there that is using our cats for target practice.”
Hotter says slug gun wounds are becoming an increasing problem, with another cat arriving at the clinic a few days after Richie with one slug gun pellet under the skin.
She says she hopes this isn’t the outcome of negative attitudes towards cats.
Beachlands resident and Richie’s owner Gillian Richards says she is devastated to know somebody intentionally hurt her pet.
“I was shocked and mildly angry when the vet told me there was one slug gun pellet, but when I heard there were three and it was quite apparent that it was deliberate act to hurt him, I was furious and sickened to think that someone would do this,” she says.
With Richie now recovering at home, Richards says she is determined to find out who is behind the attack.
As well as helping track down the perpetrator, the After Hours vet clinic contributed significantly to the cost of Richie’s more than $2000 treatment.
Hotter says the givealittle page is having great success with more than $1500 already raised and donations coming from as far away as an SPCA officer in the United Kingdom.
If the reward is not claimed, Hotter says the funds raised will be donated to Paw Justice to help with other cruelty and neglect cases.
Local police and the SPCA are also following up on the case.