Callers to the Riverview Veterniary Hospital are asking about Emily, a cat shot through by a hunting arrow. According to the practice’s co-owner and practice manager Bonnie Hann, “Every single one, the first thing they said was ‘How is the kitten doing? Is the cat OK?'”
Two men who are being called Good Samaritans brought the injured cat to the veterinary hospital in Riverview, near Tampa, on Wednesday. The men said they’d found the cat walking around with an arrow through her back, on the side of the road near an empty lot at an intersection in Riverview. The 2-3 year old cat, who hospital staff is calling Emily in honor of the surgeon named Emile who removed the arrow, is spayed, well socialized, and clean, so is thought to be, or have recently been, someone’s pet.
A surgeon removed the arrow, which went through a vertebra but did not pierce kitty’s spinal column. Emily appears not to have much feeling yet at her back end, and does not have the use of her hind legs. Veterinary staff feel that Emily will recover, but may not walk on her hind legs again. Amber Patterson told Channel 8 that Emily has purred almost the whole time she has been with hospital staff.
Anyone with information on the case or who can identify Emily is asked to call the Hillsborough County Animal Cruelty Hotline at 813-744-5550. The shooter may face felony animal cruelty charges, if found. According to the Channel 13 report, the men who brought Emily to the hospital said they were new to the area and did not leave their contact info. Dr morgan Vargo told Channel 13 that the metal tip, which cold have helped to identify the shooter, had been removed from the arrow by the time Emily arrived at the animal hospital.
The story has gotten widespread local coverage in newspapers and on TV.