The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting deaths and injuries of a number of domestic cats in the area.
Seventeen cats were found along Roger Hill Road off N.C. 18 Friday afternoon in the Connelly Springs area, including four who were shot to death and six that were wounded, reported the (Morganton) News Herald. Ten of the cats that were found also were sick or emaciated, the paper said.
“It’s horrific. What kind of monster would do this?” asked Elissa Bradford, a technician at The Animal House in Rutherford College who helped treat the cats.
Bradford told the Observer that nine cats were brought to the facility Monday, including three that were dead on arrival and a fourth that had to be put down and had apparently been poisoned.
None of the cats were feral, she said. They were domestic cats who were friendly and social.
Three of the cats were treated and then released to their rescuers, one is in critical condition and one is stable, according to Bradford. The cat in critical condition was shot in the pelvis and will undergo surgery.
The rescuers had shown Bradford pictures of food that apparently was set out for the cats, who then were shot and fell atop the food. “It’s just absolutely cruel,” she said.
She said the cats were shot with at least two types of guns.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help defray costs of the treatment of the surviving cats at The Animal House. By Tuesday evening, $2,060 of a goal of $2,500 has been raised.
“Someone has been using cats as target practice and leaving them for dead at a bridge on Roger Hill road.,” the GoFundMe page stated.
Anyone interested in adopting the cat who is in stable condition after its wounds have healed may call The Animal House at 828-893-7387.
Connelly Springs is about 65 miles northwest of Charlotte, and is about 20 minutes west of Hickory.