DOVER-FOXCROFT – Buckshot, the stray bobtail cat that survived multiple pellet wounds to its head, has adjusted just fine to his new Orono home.
Anne and George Smith, animal rehabilitators, adopted the 2-year-old cat after reading about his rescue at the hands of Douglas Villone, Monson’s animal control officer.
Back in Monson, a reward fund has been established for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of whoever is responsible for shooting the cat about 16 times close range with a pellet gun.
Villone said this week that a summer resident of Monson forwarded a $100 check to start the reward fund. Monson town officials have established an account for the reward, he said.
When no one claimed the cat after the stray was taken to Sherman’s Veterinary Service in Dover-Foxcroft for treatment last month, the animal was placed for adoption.
The Smiths were the first to call about wanting the cat.
“We’ve been looking for a bobtail cat for about two years now; they’re near impossible to find,” Anne Smith said Tuesday.
After reading the initial account in the Bangor Daily News about the cat, Smith said, she told her husband that she wanted it.
“He’s really lovable,” Smith said. The cat has free roam of the house that also is occupied by Brandy, an older black Labrador retriever. “He [Buckshot] sleeps on the bed,” she said.
Smith said the cat, which they still call Buckshot, at first was skittish in his new home, but has adjusted quite well.
“He’s doing great,” she said.
When Buckshot’s tale became known to Maine residents, it tugged at their heartstrings as the local veterinary service treating the cat and the animal control officer who found the wounded animal were deluged with calls requesting either to adopt it or to send money for its care.
The stray cat was found last month on the Steward Road with about 16 gun pellets embedded in its head.
Villone said it appeared the cat had been shot at repeatedly while in captivity and at close range.
Staff 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 that the cat had multiple mushroom-shaped pellets throughout its head.
A handful of the pellets, some lodged behind one another, were removed by the staff.
Villone said Tuesday that two questions remain unanswered: Whose cat is it? Who did it?
“It may well be the same person,” he said.
No one has come forward with any information about the cat, but Villone hopes the reward will help loosen lips.
Donated funds for the reward should be sent to P. O. Box 308, Monson 04464.