(Photo: Anne Arundel County Police)
DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. - Two animal protection organizations and a county councilman are offering an $8,500 reward for information that leads to the conviction of the person who shot a 2-year-old housecat through the shoulder two weeks ago.
On June 12, the cat's owner discovered the long-haired Maine coon mix, named Xena, with a 2-foot-long bolt from a crossbow impaled in her left shoulder. She was scared and difficult to catch, but Anne Arundel County Animal Control officers were able to corral Xena two days later at her home in this area.
Xena's owner surrendered the cat so she could get proper treatment. An operation June 14 removed the arrow, and Xena is recovering at Rude Ranch Animal Rescue in Harwood, Md.
"She's surprisingly doing very well," Kathy Evans, the rescue organization's president, told The Capital in Annapolis, Md. "She's a really sweet kitty."
Police did not know whether the cat had been shot on her owner's property about 25 miles northeast of Washington or whether she had wandered off.
The person responsible for shooting the cat could face animal cruelty charges, said Kristin Fleckenstein, spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office. That includes 90 days in jail or up to three years in prison and $1,000 to $5,000 in fines.
"It is truly callous crime to shoot a pet cat with an arrow, forcing it to suffer for days in pain and fear," said Tami Santelli, Maryland state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "We hope this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this terrible act of animal cruelty."
The Humane Society of the United States offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country, the Washington-based organization says on its website. It recently doubled its standard reward from $2,500 to $5,000.
An Anne Arundel County councilman, Republican John Grasso of Glen Burnie, Md., is kicking in $2,500. An Annapolis, Md.-based feral cat rescue group, Cats "R" Us, announced a $1,000 reward.
"Animal Control staff and Anne Arundel residents are extremely disturbed that someone would inflict this type of injury on a cat," said Robin Small, Anne Arundel County Animal Control administrator. "We are asking for help from the public to find the individual responsible."
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