A family pet that died as a result of suspected slug gun wounds is triggering concern amongst vets that pets are increasingly being used as target practise.
A Welcome Bay family’s three-year-old cat named Tiger was euthanised the day after he was shot with a suspected slug gun.
A number of cats in the Bay have suffered severe injuries this month, including One-Eyed Jack who is now in Tauranga SPCA awaiting a new home.
Tiger is the second cat to be reported shot this month – after a Papamoa family discovered their nine-year-old cat had been shot twice by an air rifle.
In a flyer sent out by Tiger’s owners, the devastated family wrote “our two girls loved him to bits”.
“Someone out there is using our family pets as target practise. If we stand by and let this happen, is someone going to start taking pot-shots at our kids as well?”
Tiger’s death coincides with three other cat-related accidents in May.
Holistic Vets in Tauranga have treated three cats with “horrific” injuries in the past three weeks.
On May 4, SunLive reported a cat had been left for dead after being hit by a car in Bethlehem.
Consequently, the ginger cat was left with a badly broken leg which needed to be amputated.
On May 15, a stray cat was brought into Holistic Vets with fishhooks stuck in its back leg and mouth.
Vet nurse Louby Ryan says the cat, Jeff, was found in Judea with a large hook threaded through his lower lip, mid upper lip and his tongue.
Louby says it is becoming a regular occurrence for cats to get abandoned fish hooks caught in their mouths.
Thirdly, a male cat was brought in to the vets with one of his eyes protruding.
“It was just horrendous; it was so infected.”
The eye so damaged it could not be saved.
Louby says, despite the cats’ deformities, she is hopeful they will all find new homes.
“Their chances are good; we do our best to try and find homes for them here.”
Jeff is currently residing in a foster home, where he is waiting to find a permanent home, and One-Eyed Jack is up for adoption at Tauranga SPCA.
The three-legged cat is enjoying his new home in Welcome Bay where is has been named Boy and is reportedly doing amazing.
Greerton Police Constable Leanne Fairburn says shooting an animal to cause unnecessary harm is clearly illegal and the offence of cruelty or ill-treatment of animals carries a maximum of three years in prison or a $50,000 fine.
Tiger’s family is appealing for anyone who knows more to contact Greerton police.
Once a stray, Jeff is now looking for a permanent home.
Boy is enjoying his new home in Welcome Bay and is doing amazing on his three legs.