Police Hunt Possible Serial Cat Shooter In NZ Town
A spate of cat shootings in New Zealand has police on alert.
Two weeks ago, Riko the cat lost his left eye after being shot in Prebbleton, southwest of Christchurch.
Riko's owners, Cody Hayton and Emilia Petronelli, arrived home to find him covered in blood.
"He had a wound on the side of his stomach, his right paw was really badly mangled and his eye was probably the worst of the three injuries," Petronelli told the NZ Herald.
A bullet was extracted from the cat, and the owners have been told the weapon was a .22 calibre or larger.
This is the fourth incident in the area, SPCA NZ spokesperson Jessie Gilchrist told the NZ Herald.
"There were three jobs in Prebbleton reported in the last three years," she said.
"The locations of these incidents could possibly suggest that there is a link."
In January 2017, Adam Leatherhead's cat Midnight was shot, resulting in the amputation of his back left leg.
A year later, Midnight was shot again and had to be put down.
Leatherhead lives less than five minutes from where Riko was shot, and said his family still haven't "got over" the shootings.
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Another cat living nearby, Kylo, was shot in the leg in November last year.
"Kylo, the gorgeous two-year-old cat, belonging to an eight-year-old boy living in Prebbleton, returned home on Friday morning with his front leg dangling, unable to be used and a bullet lodge in his back. It is thought he had taken 2-3 days to make his way home in this condition," owner Kirsty Sewell posted on a fundraising page.
Kylo suffered a major fracture but did not have his leg amputated. Vet bills still topped NZ$4000 (AU$3800) for Sewell.
The SPCA and local police are investigating the shootings.
Senior Sergeant Pete Stills confirmed to NZ Herald a person had been spoken to in relation to the investigation but no one had been charged.