In my role as an editor, sometimes I get to see the most heart wrenching stories come through my email inbox and this has to be one of the saddest stories I have read. Elliot is a silver Abyssinian cat and a little girl's beloved pet. But, Elliot was heartlessly shot and left with life threatening injuries. I've posted this on behalf of the person who wrote this sad story and who had felt strongly enough about it to contact me. We printed this story this morning for our local community to read and now I'm posting it here with the author's permission.
Meet Elliot, purebred silver Abyssinian and much loved pet of a family from Batley. Jessica, Elliot’s 11 year old owner received him three years ago as a gift for her eighth birthday, they are great mates and Elliot is never far from her.
On the 20th of last month Jessica heard the sound of a gunshot around 8.15 in the morning followed shortly by the sight of Elliot dragging himself into the house. Elliot had been shot at close range with a shot gun; he would have been clearly identifiable to his shooter.
Xrays revealed eight shot gun pellets embedded in Elliot’s body, his injuries were worrying; he could loose his tail or his back leg, or if both were not repairable then his life as a cat cannot balance with an amputated leg and tail. He had injuries to internal organs that were adding complications to his overall prognosis. Lead poisoning was a worrisome issue. Jessica was faced with a very hard decision to make on Elliot’s behalf; euthanize him to put him out of his pain, or embark on expensive hospitalisation and surgery with no guarantee of success. She chose to give him a chance and her family supported her decision.
Maungaturoto Veterinarian Michelle removed 9cm of Elliot’s damaged bowel to stabilise his condition and Mangawhai Veterinarian Mike then performed orthopaedic surgery to repair the broken bones. The leg was plated, and the tail saved. Five of the eight lead pellets were removed but unfortunately two were too close to his kidneys to risk removing and the other is lodged in his fractured tail.
It was very much touch and go for Elliot for sometime; he remains on cage restriction while his bones knit together and nearly $4000 later the family have bitter sweet feelings. They are relieved that Elliot is home and has a chance at as normal life as his injuries will allow, but are quite disturbed that someone would do this to an obviously well loved and cared for family pet. If you know anything about this incident the Dargaville Police are interested in hearing from you. The SPCA is also looking into formal charges under section 28 of the Animal Welfare Act – leaving an animal to suffer.
Elliot is not the only victim of this sort of malicious animal cruelty. He is not the first pet to be treated by Maungaturoto Vets for intentional gun shot wounds. Waipu Vets treated ‘Socks’ last week who was also shot at close range. Socks underwent lengthy surgery before returning to his family.
Does anyone else feel as outraged as me? Animal cruelty, emotional stress, financial consequences, all because a cat wandered on to the wrong property? There are other avenues that could have been taken, the council or SPCA may have been helpful, and I wonder how hard it would have been to locate the wanderers owner?
Cat Lover and Family Friend.