April 02, 2020

Orono wildlife rehabilitator adopts cat shot with pellets

DOVER-FOXCROFT – “Buckshot,” the young bobtail cat from Monson that survived multiple pellet wounds to its head, was adopted Thursday by an Orono wildlife rehabilitator.

The cat’s tale of nine lives apparently tugged at the heartstrings of Maine residents because the local veterinary service treating the cat and the animal control officer who found the wounded animal were deluged Thursday with calls requesting either to adopt the cat or to send money for its care.

The stray cat was found earlier this month on the Steward Road with about 16 gun pellets embedded in its head. Douglas Villone, Monson’s animal control officer, said it appeared the 2-year-old cat had been repeatedly shot at while it was in captivity and at close range.

Employees at Sherman’s Veterinary Service in Dover-Foxcroft first thought the cat was sick because its face was swollen and its nose was running. But a hand check and x-rays determined the cat had multiple mushroom-shaped pellets throughout its head. Some pellets were lodged behind one another. The employees removed nine of the pellets. The remainder likely will work themselves out, according to Debbie Minder, animal health assistant.

Villone said the perpetrator, depending upon what pellet gun was used, either had to load and reload and pull the trigger for each shot or had to put in one pellet at a time, pump the gun and shoot it. In any case, it appeared to be a deliberate act, he said.

While no one came forward Thursday to identify the cat or the perpetrator, plenty of people offered to adopt the cat or help pay for its care, according to Mary Thackery, an animal hospital assistant at Sherman’s.

Thackery said the office had “numerous calls” Thursday from people throughout the state inquiring about Buckshot. She said four people called first thing in the morning to adopt the cat, including the wildlife rehabilitator. Other calls were scattered throughout the day. One woman traveled to Dover-Foxcroft from Bangor hoping to adopt the cat, but adopted another instead, she said.

Other callers, including a representative from a Girl Scout Troop, offered to send money to help in the care of the cat, Thackery said. She said the response has been great.

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