Cats shot in street

Fam­i­lies shocked at cat shoot­ings in Te Awa­mutu

Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - Caitlan Johnston

A spate of cat shoot­ings in Te Awa­mutu has left mul­ti­ple res­i­dents dev­as­tated and fear­ful.

On Fri­day, April 27 Stacey O’Hearn took her daugh­ter’s cat Smokey, who had a sore leg, to the vet.

The fam­ily was shocked to find out Smokey had been shot in the shoul­der.

The 3 Stone Vets had no choice but to am­pu­tate the cat’s leg.

In the same area of Te Awa­mutu Smokey was not the only vic­tim.

An­other Pakura St res­i­dent, who wishes not to be named, found a bul­let in­serted into an onion in her mail­box days af­ter the at­tack on Smokey.

It’s an act she can only per­ceive as a threat against her own cat’s lives.

The in­ci­dent has left her fright­ened enough to con­sider mov­ing away from the neigh­bour­hood.

“It is a dread­ful thing to live with in your neigh­bour­hood, know­ing some­one has threat­ened you,” the res­i­dent says.

“It re­ally makes me want to move out of my house.”

In­for­ma­tion on Face­book page The Te Awa­mutu Grapevine in­di­cates an­other woman’s cat was shot on Ma­hana Lane, one street over from Pakura St.

An­other mem­ber on the page shared a cou­ple of months ago that her cat was shot dead.

Smokey is one of the lucky ones and is now at home re­cov­er­ing with Stacey’s daugh­ter.

Stacey says her daugh­ter was so heart­bro­ken she had trou­ble sleep­ing while her cat was away.

“It’s been re­ally trau­ma­tis­ing for our fam­ily,” Stacey says.

“Some­times peo­ple don’t un­der­stand the pain fam­i­lies face when their pet gets hurt. Our pet is a part of our fam­ily too.” The cul­prit of the in­ci­dent is un­known but Stacey says she is dis­gusted by what the per­son has done. We didn’t need to be in this sit­u­a­tion,” Stacey says.

“Smokey wasn’t run over, she was ac­tu­ally de­lib­er­ately hurt by some­one, which was com­pletely un­nec­es­sary.”

If the trauma of the in­ci­dent wasn’t enough, the vet bill has bur­dened the fam­ily. But there is a light at the end of the tun­nel.

Since the shooting, two women of­fered to help Stacey and Smokey.

Te Awa­mutu’s Kris Lawry and her mother Noe­line Gaye have gone door­knock­ing at Te Awa­mutu busi­nesses to fundrais­ing for the vet bill and raise aware­ness.

Kris says she and her mother have al­ways been mas­sive an­i­mal lovers, so it was a no-brainer for them to help. If she could she would pay the bill her­self.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant that we ex­pose to the pub­lic what’s hap­pen­ing,” she says.

“I think that it is just so bad and this needs to stop.”

The sup­port Stacey is re­ceiv­ing from the mother-daugh­ter duo has blown her away and re­as­sures her there are still good peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.

“The com­mu­nity sup­port is hon­estly amazing and ac­tu­ally makes me tear up.”

Te Awa­mutu po­lice urge res­i­dents with con­cerns about cat shoot­ings to con­tact po­lice by call­ing 111 or vis­it­ing the Te Awa­mutu sta­tion.

Te Awa­mutu woman Stacey O’Hearn with pet cat Smokey, who was shot in the leg.

In­side her mail­box an­other Pakura St res­i­dent found an onion with a bul­let in­serted.

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