Oak Bay family’s cat put down after injuries from pellet gun

An Oak Bay family is mourning the loss of its two-year-old cat, which had to be put down after it suffered serious injuries that included being shot in the belly with a pellet gun.

The black cat, named Briggs, returned to its Deal Street home on Sept. 1 after being away for a few days. The feline appeared very ill, said Oak Bay police Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties.

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Briggs’s owner, Joelene Heathcote, took the cat to a veterinarian.

“X-rays showed he had been shot in the belly with a pellet gun and had suffered blunt force trauma to his body and his insides were ruptured. Our family is devastated,” Heathcote wrote in a Facebook post. “I can’t imagine what kind of human would do this to an animal. He was a loving and trusting pet who loved children and belonged to our family. The person who assaulted my pet lives in our Oak Bay neighbourhood and is likely doing this to other animals.”

No similar incidents have been reported to animal-control authorities, Bernoties said.

Oak Bay police went door to door making inquiries, but have no new information and no suspects.

“We believe someone knows who did this and we encourage them to call us or to call Crime Stoppers,” Bernoties said. “We don’t know the motive, but we’re aware that, at times, some residents can be unhappy about cats being in their yard, so that is certainly one possibility, among others.”

Heathcote described Briggs as the most loving pet the family has ever owned. He became confused about who his family was, however, because some neighbours befriended him, gave him food and let him into their homes for several days at a time, she wrote.

“To some, I’m sure he brought much joy. Someone kept taking his collar off, which had his name and phone number on it.”

Heathcote is appealing to anyone with information on who harmed her cat to contact Oak Bay police. “You might possibly save someone else’s pet,” Heathcote wrote.


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