A Kuna man who learned Wednesday that his beloved cat had been shot through the head in his neighborhood is struggling to comprehend why someone would turn a gun on his pet.
"Yeah, maybe sometimes cats are a nuisance ... still, there's no reason for this to happen," said Michael Hodge, a 27-year-old fulltime college student at the College of Western Idaho and father of an 18-month-old daughter.
He said he's lived in the neighborhood for about two years, and he's not aware of anyone who might have ill intent toward his cat, Dexter. The 3-year-old neutered male cat wears a collar with tags.
Hodge says he has three indoor-outdoor cats who don't stray far from his home in Hayfield subdivision near North Ten Mile and West 4th Street. He lives a couple blocks from Indian Creek Elementary School.
"I didn't hear the gunshot," he said. He said he noticed Dexter crouching on his front porch when he opened his front door. He saw the cat was hurt but wasn't sure what caused the injuries to its head and face. He thought maybe it was an animal attack or a human had struck the cat with a board or some other weapon.
But X-rays taken at the Idaho Humane Society veterinary hospital revealed that he had been shot once through the head. The bullet entered through the back of the cat's head missing its cranium by millimeters and exited its forehead, just above his nose.
Dexter survived the night, and a shelter official said he is doing well Thursday. He ate some food last night, and he's been interacting with veterinary staff.
Hodge expects to take him home Friday morning. The cat's right eye was severely damaged by the bullet, but it's unclear if the eye will regain function or have to be removed.
"I love him, and I don't want him to be deformed," Hodge said. "He was a perfectly healthy happy cat who loved going outside ... It's just really sad. I can't believe someone would do this."
The Idaho Humane Society is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to an animal cruelty conviction against the person responsible for this cats injuries. Anyone who heard a gunshot or saw the incident involving the cat this morning between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. in Kuna is asked to call the Idaho Humane Society Animal Care & Control, 343-3166.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413