THE JACKPINE Flats resident thought something was wrong one day this summer when a stray cat that eats with her cats couldn’t get through the pet door.
She soon found out why – someone had shot the cat with a crossbow.
The arrow was lodged in one eye and through the cat’s neck. The resident, who didn’t want to give her name for fear of being targeted by the crossbow shooter, called police.
While talking to neighbours, she found out that this cat wasn’t the only one to be the victim of cruelty in Jackpine Flats.
Others in the neighbourhood had reported cats missing, poisoned or shot dead with crossbow arrows fitted with razor blades, she said.
She put up a notice at the post office here in town and on the mailbox in the neighbourhood to let people know about this problem.
It reads “To All Residents. If you have had an animal hurt, poisoned, shot with an arrow, or other forms of brutality please contact the RCMP at 250-638-7400. The investigation is on-going and they are gathering information. If you know who has been doing this please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 to place an anonymous tip. This is serious and they live among us.”
The vet who treated Odin, named by his new owner for the Norse god who gave up his eyes for wisdom and knowledge, said that wasn’t the only violence the cat had suffered.
Dr. David Farkvam of Kermodei Veterinary Hospital neutered Odin and found a lump on the cat’s head that turned out to be a BB gun pellet.
“This was deliberately close and right straight at the head. The pellet flattened on itself when it hit the brain case,” said Farkvam, adding that if the person who shot Odin is caught, he will be the first witness on the stand in court. “It scares me. Either there’s stupid kids with weapons too powerful for them, especially the crossbow, or you’ve got some nut job out there who wants no animals on their property and is shooting everybody’s animals.”
Odin is fine as the arrow missed his brain and the BB didn’t get in far enough to do damage either, Farkvam said.
“The thing that set it off for me is the cat had an arrow pulled out of its head and three weeks later it comes in to be neutered and it was shot in the head as well. What more can the animal tolerate? How cruel can you be?”
Farkvam has seen a lot of animal cruelty over the years, including a common problem of owners placing collars that are too small on their dogs.
Farkvam then has to cut the collars off.
He’s also seen people’s pets trapped, poisoned, and even a dog thrown off the Kitsumkalum bridge that only survived because it landed on a sandbar.
“I do think it should be brought to people’s attention,” he said.
“Ever since the slaying of those huskies [in Whistler earlier this year], the laws for this province have stiffened dramatically,” he said, adding there’s a hefty fine and jail time for an animal cruelty conviction.
In the meantime, Terrace RCMP spokesperson Const. Angela Rabut said police are not pursuing the crossbow shooting investigation. “There was nothing further to investigate in this matter. The investigating officers did not have any more information or leads to pursue. The file is concluded,” she said.