Cat shot multiple times while trapped
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015
On May 2, Carriere resident Diane Smith found her cat Jeb with blood pouring from his eyes, ears, nose and throat.
After surgery, two BB bullets were recovered from the cat’s eye and five from his head, Smith said. One BB bullet was still lodged in the larynx.
A witness to the event told Smith they saw a 7-year-old shoot Jeb in the head with a BB gun while the cat was in a trap, she said.
Smith contacted the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and was informed by deputies that nothing could be done.
An acquaintance of Smith alerted Lynn Chiche, the president of SpayMart in Hancock County who contacted Pearl River County SPCA Special Projects Coordinator Carla Gerrard about the injured feline.
“The cat was taken to Dr. Theresa Gernon in Louisiana, a vet who works with animal cruelty cases,” Gerrard said. “The surgery costs more than $2,000.”
Smith said Jeb will live, but the veterinarian had to remove one of his eyes.
“I’ve never witnessed animal abuse first hand,” Smith said. “I was taught that God put animals here for us to love as our pets.”
Smith said Jeb was an indoor cat and during the daytime would wander in and out of the house. He was kept inside the house every night, she said.
Gerrard said it’s important to teach kids about animal abuse at a young age and make parents aware of what their children are doing.
“We have contacted the Humane Society of the United States and Best Friends in Utah,” Gerrard said. “Best Friends has experience with cruelty cases involving children.”
Groups like Animal Advocates of Pearl River County and HSUS are trying to enact changes to animal cruelty laws in Mississippi.
Mississippi Code 97-41-16, the Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011, is intended to provide for the protection of domesticated dogs and cats. According to the code, if a person intentionally or with criminal negligence wounds, deprives of adequate shelter, food or water, or carry or confine in a cruel manner, any domesticated dog or cat shall be guilty of the offense of simple cruelty to a dog or cat. The charge is a misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine or not more than six months in prison, or both, the statute states.
“A child under 10 could not be declared delinquent for a crime of this nature,” Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said. “However, we have contacted representatives with youth court, who are going to research if anything can be done.”
The PRCSPCA is collecting donations for Jeb’s surgery, which can be mailed to PRCSPCA Attn: Jeb, P.O. Box 191, Picayune, MS, 39466.
For more information, follow the PRCSPCA Facebook’s page at Pearl River County SPCA.
Calls to Dr. Gernon’s office were not returned by press time Monday. An update to this story will follow as more details become available.