Vanessa Wheeler with her cat Senna, who has a pellet in her
shoulder after being shot with an airgun by an unknown
attacker. Photo / Natalie Slade
An Auckland cat owner is hoping a reward will lead to
information about who shot her 1-year-old seal burmese with an
Vanessa Wheeler thought Senna had been bitten when she
discovered her unable to walk properly and with congealed
blood on her upper left leg last month.
She took the cat to a vet, who prescribed antibiotics and
painkillers - but at another vet clinic four days later an
x-ray revealed the true extent of the animal's injury.
"She had a pellet lodged in her shoulder. I said 'you're
joking'. Whoever shot her must have been looking straight at
her as the bullet has entered her chest front on."
Miss Wheeler was stunned, particularly because 10 years
earlier, her family cat had been shot in a similar way and
She was relieved Senna did not suffer any permanent nerve
damage and is walking again.
The 34-year-old and her partner Aaron Foss, who live in Glen
Innes, complained to the police.
But she was told that without evidence of who shot the cat
the case could not proceed.
Miss Wheeler, a marketing manager, was concerned the culprit
might still be "taking pot shots" at animals or even
The pair went to Paw Justice, a charity aimed at stopping
animal abuse. Co-founder Craig Dunn offered a $1000 reward
for any information leading to the prosecution of those
Mr Dunn said: "You don't want these people going round in
your neighbourhood - they start with animals and then they're
on to the next thing."
Anyone aged 18 or older can own and use an airgun.
But you can be arrested and fined or imprisoned if you:
Possess or carry an airgun without a lawful purpose.
Carelessly use an airgun.
Fire an airgun in a way that may endanger, annoy or frighten
anyone or damage property.
Point an airgun at someone.
Sell or supply an airgun to an unlicensed person under 18.
- Natalie Akoorie, New Zealand Herald