Editor's note: The date of the incident was initially misstated in this article. Officials provided a second press release with the accurate date, and this post has been updated to reflect that.
The Putnam County SPCA is looking for the person who shot a 7-month-old cat. The animal, who was left paralyzed, died days after the injury.
At about 4 p.m. Feb. 7, officials received a complaint from a resident of Rutland Drive in the Putnam Lake area of Patterson. He reportedly told officials his cat, who was outside at the time, had been shot and was "severely injured."
Members of the SPCA found Blackfoot, a female, black and brown calico cat, to be paralyzed at and below her midsection. They found an entrance wound near her neck, according to authorities.
"SPCA officers immediately transported the injured cat to the Westchester Animal Hospital [in Mount Vernon] for examination," a statement reads. "Dr. Robert Jiao examined the injured cay and an X-ray revealed what appeared to be a metal projectile imbedded in the dorsal thoracic area of the spine. The projectile may have been shot at the cat with either a high-powered BB gun or a low-caliber rifle. Dr. Jiao also found a second spinal fracture which, in his opinion, could only have been caused by severe blunt force trauma.
The examination’s findings revealed that not only was the cat shot with a high powered metal projectile, but was also struck with force in the spine causing the second fracture."
Blackfoot remained at the facility until Monday, when she died of progressive paralysis.
SPCA officers are investigating the crime. They have spoken with folks who live in the area and they plan to increase patrols to "in hopes that it will serve as a deterrent to prevent additional acts of cruelty."
Anyone with information is asked to contact the agency at its 24-hour animal cruelty hotline (845-520-6915), or online at www.spcaputnam.org. Calls may remain confidential, officials say.
“Although many feel that feral cats may be a nuisance, it is a crime to harm these animals," SPCA Chief Ken Ross said. "Owned cats, under the law are allowed to roam outside, and when someone takes matters into their own hands, not only are they committing animal cruelty, they may end injuring their neighbor’s child or pet.”