Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18307
Classification: Shooting
Animal: cat
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Monday, Jul 25, 2011

County: Bernalillo

Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

An innocent cat sitting on the front porch of a family home was targeted, shot and killed in a NE Heights neighborhood, according to Albuquerque city officials.

Neighbors living in the residential area near Eubank and Indian School called it a cruel game of target practice.

"I was absolutely speechless," said neighbor Margaret Schulte. "I can't believe someone would do that to a defenseless animal."

Schulte found Priss, the black and white neighborhood cat, dead near her home on Tuesday morning. She took Priss to the veterinarian, who said the cat had a bullet, likely from a .22-caliber rifle, lodged near its heart.

"(Police) think someone had a scope and looked through the scope and 'snipered' him," said neighbor Carin Harman.

Harman said Priss was sitting under her porch light on Monday night. Neighbors suspect the sniper shot the cat for fun in a game of target practice.

"(Monday night) was stormy too," said Carl Schulte. "It's not the kind of night that you normally expect someone to be driving around, happened to see a cat and have a gun in the car."

Neighbors, who said there are many children living in the area, are on edge.

"If someone is going around snipering animals, it could have missed, it could have gotten inside my home," said Harman.

City officials said they're not taking the drive-by shooting lightly. City spokesman Chris Ramirez said the case has been turned over to Animal Welfare and the Albuquerque Police Department. Ramirez said officials are looking for any information that may lead to an arrest.

"People who abuse animals will also be involved in domestic violence and aggravated assault and other violent felonies," said Ramirez. "So we're always very suspicious of people who can commit a crime like that."

Extreme animal cruelty is a felony that carries 18 months jail time and a $5,000 fine, according to Ramirez. Firing a gun within city limits is also against the law.

New Mexico Animal Friends is offering a reward to any information leading to the person responsible for the shooting.


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