TOWN ‘N’ COUNTRY, Fla. – A local rescue group says seven cats have been shot and killed in the National Town neighborhood in the past year and a half. Three of those shot died.
– What kind of person treats an animal like that? asked Kathryn Barnes, who oversees strays at the Three Lakes Mobile Home Park.
One cat, she named “Buddy,” suffered a broken front leg and may need to have a back leg amputated after being shot earlier this month.
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“He was shot multiple times,” Barnes said. “This cat is so sweet and loving.”
Barnes said they confronted the suspect next door after the latest shooting. However, so far the deputies have not made any arrests.
“It breaks my heart. I want to cry but I can’t anymore but there’s no point,” Barnes said. “It’s mind-boggling to even think about the blurring of dead or injured cats with so many injuries.
The rescue volunteers of the Franciscan Society share that concern. They organized fundraisers and vet visits for injured cats, and reported several shootings to law enforcement.
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“These poor cats,” said St. Franciscan Society volunteer Jennifer Tate. “They didn’t ask to be born. They’re just living their lives. Someone gets pleasure from torturing them.”
Three Lakes Mobile Home Park is the only home many of them have known. There may be several hundred feral cats in the community, and Barnes said none of them deserve to be preyed upon.
“I’m angry and upset. I don’t understand how people can do this,” Barnes said.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said it is aware of the reports, but has not yet been able to identify a suspect or confirm the cats were shot.
The case remains open, and deputies hope to come forward with more evidence.
Three Lakes Mobile Home Park said it is aware of the incidents and is working with deputies and animal rescuers to find the shooter.