MORROW, OH (FOX19) - Police and animal rescues are investigating reports of pets being injured in Warren County after a shop cat was shot in the face.
Andrea Klercke owns “Home Girl Decor” in Morrow. She said a stray cat, now named Homie, showed up starving about five weeks ago. Slowly but surely, Klercke took Homie in and gained her trust.
Klercke said it did not take long for the feline to become the favorite new addition.
“She was in and out, and customers were really loving her being there, and she was loving the attention from them," said Klercke.
One day last week, Homie appeared to be suffering from injuries. After a trip to the vet, Klercke said she found out that Homie has a protruding bone in her chest that was likely caused by someone kicking her.
Klercke was also told that Homie had been shot -- someone had fired an air rifle at her face. The pellet was lodged in her nose. Alarmed by the news, Klercke said she alerted rescuers with Myles Ahead Animal Sanctuary and Rescue, the police and the nearby public.
“I went door to door, knocking on doors, to ask who has pellet guns around my shop area," said Klercke.
Klercke said that rescuers and vet techs told her that Homie is one of many animals being abused in that way. Both cats and dogs have been targeted.
“So many people are outraged, and I don’t think our community is going to allow this," said Klercke.
Homie is now staying with Klercke, where she is recovering from surgery. According to Klercke, she is being treated like a princess and is lucky to be alive.
However, it may be time for Homie to find a new home.
“She would be a great shop cat, but I can’t have her there if she’s in danger," said Klercke.
Klercke’s message to the person responsible: find a healthy, humane way to handle stray cats because what you did to Homie is cruel and could be a crime.
“I don’t understand how somebody could do that to her," said Klercke. “She’s a survivor.”
Rescuers are encouraging pet owners to keep an extra eye on their animals.
They also said it is always important to spay and neuter your pets, and even neighborhood strays, to prevent overpopulation and in turn, abuse.