Idaho police are searching for a suspect after a couple’s cat was shot directly in the eyeball, local media reported.
Distraught owners Amy and Michael Nelson said their cat Mystic, who was left permanently blind in that eye, came home on Monday, March 21, limping, meowing loudly and covered in blood.
Amy Nelson, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told local news channel KHQ that her pet’s eye was hanging out. “It was kind of dull and black,” she said.
Her husband added: “I look down and see her face covered in blood. I grabbed her, I looked and her eye was black. She had beautiful green eyes, and this eye was dead.”
Veterinarians were unable to save Mystic’s eye and had to remove it during surgery.
While operating, surgeons discovered a small red ball lodged in the eyeball and told the Nelsons that Mystic had been shot.
“It looks like it was intentionally to maim and cause some damage,” Michael Nelson told KHQ.
His wife added that he was “sobbing hysterically for hours”, revealing: “I couldn’t believe someone could be so cruel to such a beautiful animal… It’s so cruel that people think it’s okay to treat animals this way. way, when our pets are so helpless.
The Coeur d’Alene Police Department told KHQ that they are taking the case very seriously but do not yet have a suspect. Detectives have taken as evidence the red ball found in Mystic’s eye. They put out a call for anyone with information to get in touch.
The couple had adopted Mystic by rescuing her as a stray when they noticed the black and white cat visiting their backyard in 2021.
“She’s been our little love ever since we found her,” Amy said.
“Or she found us,” Michael pointed out.
Mystic liked to go out most of the day after breakfast. “Like she went to work,” Amy said.
But now the couple must help their disabled cat adjust to life after losing sight on one side. He currently wears a cone on his head to prevent him from rubbing his eye and dislodging the stitches.
The Nelsons said their neighbors have no problem with Mystic and were shocked to learn of the attack.
Amy Nelson said that if an owner had a problem with Mystic on their property, they could have called to discuss the problem because her phone number is on the cat’s collar.
Animal cruelty is a misdemeanor in Idaho and does not become a felony until a person’s third offense under the Idaho State Code.
That’s something the Nelsons hope to see changed. Amy Nelson said the animals are “defenseless” and therefore “we really need to be advocates and stand up for them now.”
In November 2019, a bipartisan initiative became a new law under then-President Donald Trump, making certain animal cruelty cases a federal crime.
The Prevention of Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT) prohibits “animal crushing” defined as “conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians are crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or subjected to serious bodily injury.”
It adds: “Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as taking precedence over the law of any state or local subdivision thereof to protect animals.”
Animal rights activists had argued that a federal law was crucial, even though each state already has its own animal cruelty laws, to make it easier to prosecute animal abuse cases that span different states.
news week has contacted Coeur d’Alene detectives for more information.