An Abbotsford cat most likely won’t regain sight after being shot nine times with what appears to be two pellet guns.
Greg Golt says his cat, Chocolate, failed to come home the night of Wednesday, Sept. 12, which he said was unusual.
“This rarely happens, but if she doesn’t come home, she is waiting on the back deck in the morning for me to let her in,” Golt said in an email. “Thursday morning she was not there.”
That evening, though, he got a call from a neighbour informing him of an injured cat across the street from his house, asking Golt if his cat was missing. After running out to check on the cat, he confirmed it was Chocolate.
“She was in bad shape, eyes closed and bleeding from the eyes and face,” Golt said, adding he then took the cat to the Clearbrook Animal Hospital.
Jared Lakey, Golt’s roommate, added in a phone interview that Chocolate wasn’t moving at all when they discovered her.
“After examining her the vet said that they would need to take x-rays to find out the extent of her injuries. They would have to put her out to take them so they sent me home and told me that they would call with the results,” Golt said. “It turns out that she had been shot nine times in the face, neck and chest.”
That includes seven shots in the face, once in the shoulder and once in the stomach, Lakey said, including one that hit her in an eye, causing her to lose that eye. But Chocolate does not have vision in the other eye either, and Golt said she will “most likely never regain her sight.”
Chocolate, who was named by the shelter she was rescued from because the cat is “sweet as chocolate,” did have a concussion, which may have caused the blindness in the other eye.
“But she is alive,” Golt said.
After hearing Chocolate had been shot, Lakey went to check the area where the cat had been found. Lakey said he found pieces of raw fish in that spot, raising questions of whether Chocolate had been lured to the spot or if she had visited a nearby pond.
In doing the surgery to remove five of the nine pellets, it was discovered that the pellets were of “two different types and calibres” — .22 calibre hollow-point and .177 — meaning two different guns were used, Golt said.
Abbotsford veterinarian Dr. Katz Piller, a friend of Lakey’s sister who is not Chocolate’s vet but who brought the issue to The News, said she has previously cared for cats shot with pellet guns in her practice in the Prairies.
“People were more likely to be shooting gophers and then going after domestic animals,” Piller said. “I haven’t seen any cases here in Abbotsford in the last 10 years, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t happen.”
Golt said he contacted both the Abbotsford Police Department and the SPCA, who showed up to speak to him and Lakey, but added that authorities are unlikely to ever find out who shot his cat.
Lakey said he has warned some of his neighbours to keep their cats inside in case the people or person who shot Chocolate returns.
“I have some very nice words for those people,” he said sarcastically. “But I try not to speak them out loud. But they are sick.”