GARDNER, Mass. — A family in Gardner is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person who shot their family cat.
Their 4-year-old daughter made the disturbing discovery. The family notified police and a report was filed with animal control, but they are hoping the money will encourage more people to come forward with information.
Not long after letting their cat Oliver outside Friday morning, the Lovett family's 4-year-old daughter noticed something was wrong.
"He looked like an alien when I saw him," said Lucy. "I [told] momma and momma freaked out, and we [went] to the emergency hospital."
Oliver is now home recovering – but at the animal hospital, veterinarians discovered that the 14-year-old had been shot with a pellet gun, likely not far from their home on Leamy Street in Gardner.
"It was gruesome, it was gruesome to see," said Erin Lovett of her cat.
Their best bet was to leave the pellet, which was lodged in his cheek. But Oliver's eye had to be removed.
The Lovett family says they are grateful that Oliver will pull through, but they are still in shock that it appears someone intentionally tried to hurt him.
"You know, if you didn't like our cat in your yard…I wish someone would have come to me first," Erin said. "Or if it's just a random thing, I don't even know if I have words for that person."
The cat has been an indoor/outdoor cat its entire life with no problems, but now will stay inside.
"I don't know what makes me more upset," Erin said. "I would have rather him be hit by a car, not that anyone ever wants that, but someone pointed a gun at my cat and shot it in the face […] I can't fathom it, but that is intentional, this wasn't an accident."
The reward is $500 for information leading to an arrest and then another $500 if that information leads to a conviction.
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