Someone in Cornwall shot an arrow into a cat last week.
The cat, although quickly brought to the attention of Cornwall Community Cats, a volunteer-driven trap, neuter and return (TNR) organization in the community, was badly injured and had to be euthanized.
“Unfortunately, based on the position of the arrow and internal organ and spinal injuries, our volunteers made the heartbreaking decision to end his suffering,” Amanda Musser, a Community Cats volunteer and head of the auxiliary Cornwall Kitten Fosters program, said in a post on social media. “He was just too far to save.”
It doesn’t appear to have been an accident. Wentzel told LebTown that the veterinarian who examined the cat at Hershey Animal Emergency Center said the “angle of the arrow and entry and exit wounds suggest that the cat was shot head on by someone standing over him.” The arrow, she said, entered through the cat’s shoulder and passed through its trunk.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the weapon was an arrow, from a bow, or a crossbow bolt.
The cat was found near PRL Industries Inc., a steel fabricator at 64 Rexmont Road.
Musser explained in her post that employees at PRL Industries saw the injured animal, trapped it and contacted Community Cats for assistance.
Wentzel said the incident was reported to Cornwall Borough police. She also wants to get the word out, she added, to remind people that, if they “see something, say something.”
“The cat was male, gray and friendly,” Wentzel said.
Musser noted that the cat was neutered but did not have an ear notch or TNR tattoo, “meaning he was once someone’s pet. They cared enough about him to get him fixed and vaccinated at some point in his life.”
The cat didn’t die alone, she added. “Our volunteer Kaye provided love to him in his final hour, with lots of scratches and pepperoni treats, which he so appreciated. She named him Blue.”
Kristen Lester, who goes by Kaye, posted more details – along with photos and video – on her Kitten Sanctuary page.
“Blue was shot with the arrow entering at his upper ribs near the spine,” she explained. “The arrow exited down near Blue’s hips. This means this was a clean shot parallel to his body. Someone looked right at him when they shot him, you can’t convince me this wasn’t on purpose.”
His right leg wasn’t working because of damage to his spinal cord, Lester said, and he “had maggots everywhere internally and his gums were incredibly pale. Even if we threw everything at him and treated his injuries very aggressively he would be suffering the entire time.”
Euthanasia, she said, was the kindest option for the wounded kitty. Lester said Blue was “super sweet” and was purring as people tried to help him.
A spokesperson for the Hershey Animal Emergency Center was not immediately available for comment.
An ongoing GoFundMe campaign to help cover the costs of critical care for injured cats, including Blue, had raised $1,170 as of Saturday afternoon.
Lester told LebTown that employees at PRL Industries told her the cat first started appearing in the area about six months ago. “He was very friendly so they tried to care for him as much as they could,” she said. “A few days ago, they saw the arrow protruding from his body and bought a humane trap so they could secure him and find help. As soon as they got him, they transported him to me.”
She said the cat “was always incredibly calm and sweet; cats are very good at hiding pain.” She stayed with him through the procedure, giving him pets and treats. “He absolutely loved it and purred the entire time, taking it gently from my hand even though he was starving. He was the sweetest cat. I’m truly heartbroken … but he was suffering, so there was no other outcome.”
Lester estimated that the cat was between 3 and 5 years old.
Musser asked anyone who saw or knows something about the incident to call police with information.
“Based on the position of the arrow, including the entrance and exit wounds, we strongly believe that this injury was calculated and intentional,” Musser explained. “We are working with Chief Hopkins to provide as much evidence as we possibly can to investigate where this cat was injured and who is responsible.”
They are also asking that residents “be vigilant of what is happening in their neighborhood and report anyone or anything that they see or hear related to this situation,” she said, such as someone who was overheard threatening to throw a cat outside or to hurt feral cats in the area, or whose family cat is suddenly missing.
“I am angry, I am sad, but mostly I am very disappointed!” Musser wrote in her public post. “This is NOT the Cornwall Community that I know!”
Although Cornwall Borough police did not immediately respond to a request for comment, the department did share a post about the incident on its Facebook page.
Musser noted that the Cornwall police department “has always been and continues to be extremely supportive of our program. … They are huge advocates for us, and we are very lucky to have them as partners.”
She noted that this is the second case of animal cruelty in the area in as many weeks. About two weeks ago, Musser said, good Samaritans contacted Community Cats after finding seven kittens in a plastic bag, “discarded like trash on the side of the road.”
The kittens were found between Minersvillage and the intersection of Iron Valley Drive with Boyd Street. They “seemed OK” and have been taken in by a local rescue organization.
A police report was filed on that incident as well, she said.
“Both of these scenarios are unacceptable and avoidable,” Musser said. “Heaven forbid you ever find yourself considering these option, PLEASE contact us! We try our very best to help. I am a mental health professional and am very supportive of those who find themselves in difficult circumstances. I WILL HELP YOU!”
She added: “Hurting or discarding an animal is and should NEVER be the only option.”
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