Cat survives shooting: Search for suspect in Hanover county

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Linda Wickham says her cat "Loverboy" is her miracle. Shot and left for dead, he's now alive and well but the evidence of his terrifying ordeal is easy to spot.

"The bullet actually dislodged his ear (and) the ear canal from the skull, so we had to surgically have that ear canal closed," said Linda.

Loverboy was shot in late February. When Linda found him in the yard, she thought he'd been hit by a car.

"Even in the thralls of all his pain, when I picked him up that morning, he never scratched and he never bit," Linda said.

An emergency trip to the vet revealed the unthinkable. Loverboy's injuries were not from a car accident.

"I just couldn't imagine who would shoot this cat just to shoot it obviously," she said.

The cat pulled through, but only after several very expensive surgeries.

"He has certainly rewarded me with enough love and hugs to make all of it worthwhile," Linda said.

Animal Control is now investigating this case and believes the shooting was no accident.

"Cats do not resemble any type of wildlife that you would be hunting this time of year, and this cat is an obvious house cat," said Hanover County Animal Control Sgt. Kevin Kilgore.

Sgt. Kevin Kilgore says this is one of the worse cases of animal cruelty he's ever seen. Loverboy was shot with a 22 caliber gun.

"It's a very heinous act. It shows in my opinion a lot of cowardice. It's just a horrendous thing," Kilgore said.

The goal here, of course, is to find the person or people responsible for this shocking crime, but officials with Hanover County Animal Control are also hoping to send the message that they will not tolerate animal cruelty. They say when they find the person responsible, they will prosecute to the furthest extent of the law. That's a year in a jail and a $2,500 fine.

Anyone with information about this crime or other cases of animal cruelty in Hanover county, call communications at 365-6140.

Ask for investigator Wade with Animal Control.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.