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Bullet pierces vet’s window

A Masterton vet arrived at work on Sunday to find someone had shot a bullet through the window of their premises.

At the time the shooting took place, 15 animals were onsite. The bullet was shot just metres from where rescue kittens are often kept in holding cages.

Police have confirmed an investigation is underway into the incident, which is thought to have happened overnight on Saturday.

The bullet punctured but didn’t shatter one of the front safety glass windows and caused more than $3000 of estimated damage to the shop’s interior.

“Saturday was a normal, quiet, calm emergency day – nothing different from any emergency Saturday,” Vetcare owner Heidi Ward-McGrath told the Times-Age.

After arriving at work to find the bullet hole on Sunday, her first thought was to go and check the safety and security of the animals there.

At the time, fifteen animals were onsite; five cats and 10 kittens, most of them rescued.

During the day, the animals would have been within about a metre of the bullet’s trajectory but “fortunately, they were in the secure part of the hospital, not in the front retail shop”, and none of them were harmed.

“A lot of them were rescue animals, including some animals that have been shot. We deal with a lot of animals that have been shot and abused, as well as rehoming kittens,” Ward-McGrath said.

“We didn’t have any client animals in the hospital on Saturday night. That’s just pure luck.”

Ward-McGrath said local businesses are expected to be contacted as part of the investigation, and noted her premises have good surveillance equipment: “We do have CCTV. We have five cameras to review.”

“At the moment, we are dealing with a crime wave. We are dealing with an increase in not only youth crime but also community crime,” she said.

“As a community, it’s important that we acknowledge crime is on the rise.”

Vetcare rehomes about 400 unwanted or injured pets a year.

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