NORFOLK, Va. — A cat has died after being shot in Norfolk, the Norfolk SPCA said Tuesday.
“It didn’t need to happen,” said Norfolk SPCA Veterinarian in Charge Dr. Rita Hemmings. “It didn’t need to go on as long as it had potentially gone on.”
The Norfolk SPCA offers animal adoptions or low-cost veterinary care, but a big part of its mission is protecting animals.
Dr. Hemmings said a Good Samaritan brought the vet staff a cat on Tuesday who couldn't move his back legs.
“He couldn’t actually support his weight and walk at all,” Dr. Hemmings said.
She said an X-ray revealed something worse than broken bones.
“Happened to find a bullet adjacent to his lumbar spine,” Dr. Hemmings said. “So, his in the lower back region. He was declining in front of us, he became weaker and paler as the minutes went on.”
The vet team had to euthanize the cat, but not before showing him love and naming him Robert.
“We don’t like them to not have a name,” Dr. Hemmings said. “He deserved a name and he deserved to be recognized. He was a very very handsome boy.”
SPCA staff members said the good Samaritan found Robert in a driveway on Nelms Avenue off East Princess Anne Road in Norfolk. Now, they asking people who might know something to reach out.
“It’s a sad case, it’s unfortunate, and if anybody has any information whatsoever, we would love to know,” said Director of Operations Meagan Goins. “You can always call in, email, post anonymously.”
Executive Director Kim Sherlaw said the person responsible would face felony animal cruelty charges.
No matter where someone lives in Hampton Roads, she said they can call their local animal agency to report cruelty situations.
“If something seems wrong, if you see an animal that is injured, contact your animal control, your animal protection unit, because there are resources there that can be put in place to help protect the animal,” Sherlaw said. “And even perhaps the animal owner.”
Under Virginia Law, someone responsible for the death of an animal could face a class six felony charge. That could mean up to five years in prison or a $2,500 fine.