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Pet cat impaled by arrow, juvenile may face charges

SoVaNow.com / July 03, 2013
A local juvenile could face felony charges after allegedly shooting a neighborhood cat with his bow and arrow.

Stormy the cat, the family pet of Dan and Marie Wiles of Clarksville, was found dead by its owner Sunday — impaled with an arrow through the chest.

Wiles said he came home from a Sunday afternoon visit to downtown Clarksville with his daughter and mother-in-law when he saw the cat hopping erratically through a neighbor’s yard. “As soon as she heard my vehicle, she laid down,” Wiles said. As he walked over, he could see the arrow running through the cat, from her chest to her back end. Wiles added, “Unfortunately my three-year old daughter had to see that.”

He did not know how long the cat had walked around pierced by the arrow, but he said Stormy travelled about 200 feet from where she was believed to have been shot by the arrow, trying to return home.

They immediately contacted a local veterinarian who, despite his best efforts, was unable to save Stormy.

Wiles identified for police the person he thinks was the shooter: a minor who lives in the neighborhood.

According to Mecklenburg County Sheriff Bobby Hawkins, his office was called in to investigate the matter. The investigation currently is being handled by Deputy Andy Ramsey. Hawkins said he is waiting for final word from Commonwealth’s Attorney Nora Miller, but charges are likely to be filed against the alleged shooter, “a male juvenile,” in the next couple of days. They have the arrow, pictures of the cat with the arrow piercing its body, and, according to Wiles, a confession from the shooter.

Stormy had been a member of the Wiles family for 14 years. Wiles said, “Most people in the neighborhood knew her, and I never received any complaints about her.” He added that he is the type of pet owner who will not allow his animals to interfere with the neighbors or their enjoyment. “If my animal is a problem, let me know, and I’ll take care of it.”

Wiles also doesn’t believe that the minor was trying to scare away what he thought was a feral cat.

“Even if she was a stray cat,” Wiles said, “she did not deserve to die the way she did. She had a heart, had feelings. While I feel for the family [of the boy], justice needs to be done.”

Under the Virginia Code, it is a felony to torture, ill-treat, or willfully inflict inhumane injury or pain or cruelly or unnecessarily maim, mutilate, or kill any animal that is a companion animal. If convicted, the suspect, in addition to other penalties, could be prohibited from having or owning any companion animals.

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