Cats shot in street
Families shocked at cat shootings in Te Awamutu
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.