The Pennsylvania SPCA continued searching Saturday for a suspect who fatally shot a family’s orange tabby with an arrow in West Philadelphia and left the pet cat to die.
The nonprofit animal welfare agency is asking the public’s help in the incident, which occurred Friday morning near a corner store in the 5900 block of Chestnut Street, said Nicole Wilson, the PSPCA’s director of humane law enforcement.
The agency believes someone may be able to identify a person captured on the store’s video surveillance picking up the cat — still alive — and dumping him in the trash, or may know someone who lives in the area who owns a crossbow, Wilson said.
“We have no reason or motive,” Wilson said Saturday. “It appears that somebody was just looking to do harm and this cat just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The adult male cat was reported missing the day before, according to Wilson. The owner said the cat had gotten out and never returned home, she said.
A Good Samaritan found the cat, wounded with the arrow still lodged in his body early Friday, the PSPCA said. The Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia rushed the cat to the PSPCA’s headquarters in North Philadelphia, where surgeons were on standby, but the cat could not be saved, Wilson said.
Julie Klim, the PSPCA’s chief executive officer, called the case “especially heinous.”
Law enforcement officers with the PSPCA later determined that the pet belonged to a family residing just a block away from the corner store. They believe the suspect also lives in the area, Wilson said.
The suspect faces a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to an animal and could face up to five years in prison if convicted, Wilson said.