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Family cat shot at point-blank

The ashes of a shot pet cat have been kept. PHOTO/SOUMYA BHAMIDIPATI

An 11-year-old Solway child was “just destroyed” when he found his beloved family pet shot dead.

The owner of the cat, who declined to be named, said ‘Kitty’ was found in the paddock behind the family home at about 5.30pm on December 10.

The woman said the family had just arrived home. Her son had run outside, and then she heard him screaming.

“He was looking over the fence to weed-eat and found her,” she said. “He came running to me saying ‘I think Kitty’s dead’.”

At about 11pm, while cradling the cat, he found a bullet hole in her neck. It was thought to have come from an air-rifle shot at close range.

“She hadn’t been there all day,” she said, “Rigour mortis hadn’t set in.

“If that’s what it was, whoever it was still would have been in the showgrounds, and they would’ve heard my kid screaming.”

It was hard for the family to comprehend why someone would be so cruel.

“It’s different when a pet gets run over,” the woman said, “That just happens sometimes.

“I just can’t believe that someone has done that.”

Kitty had not had an easy start to life. She had been adopted by the woman when she was a kitten, before the boy and his twin sister were born.

“We were sitting out there having a smoke, and this van came up and threw her out,” she said. The kitten landed in the scrub of the empty yard next door.

“She went flying, and we found her,” the woman said, “She came from the road, and she never went back there.”

When asked why she had decided to adopt Kitty, the woman said, “She needed a home. She needed love”.

The family had also been robbed about a year ago. Since Kitty’s death, the woman had installed more cameras and strengthened the back fence.

“I’m really jumpy. It’s made me really nervous,” she said. “It’s just a horrible feeling.

“The worst thing to do is to take someone’s pet.”

Police were still patrolling the area, which helped her to feel a bit safer, she said.

She picked up the cat’s ashes a week before Christmas, which had cost her $390.

The remains had been split into two small urns, one for each of the children.

“The world’s just not how it used to be.

“She’s the cat that made me late for work because I’d have to give her an extra kiss goodbye.”

Wairarapa police response manager Jen Hansen said the matter was still in the early stages of investigation.

“We are hopeful the public can assist with any knowledge or awareness they may have of what occurred,” the senior sergeant said.

Police were notified of the incident on December 14, once it was confirmed by a vet that the cat had been shot.

Hansen said while this type of offence was not common, a similar incident had happened in December last year.

“A pet cat was shot in the abdomen in Millard Ave.

“Fortunately, she survived her injuries but required surgery to repair a large wound to her abdomen.”

Police took such offences seriously, Hansen said.

“This is someone’s beloved pet who has been senselessly killed, which is devastating for the family.”

Potential charges could include discharging a firearm near a dwelling house which carried a maximum fine of $10,000 or imprisonment of six months, or reckless discharge of a firearm – carrying a maximum fine of $4000 or imprisonment of three years.

Alternatively, a charge could be laid under the animal welfare act for cruelty/ill-treatment of animals, which carried a variety of fines and imprisonment sentences depending on the circumstance, Hansen said.

  • Anyone with information should contact Wairarapa police or call 105 and quote file 201214/7969.

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