SAFFORD – On Monday morning, a woman contacted the Safford Police Department to report that her cat had been shot with a BB gun. The woman told authorities that the day before she had noticed her cat running into her home as if it was scared but not walking on its front right leg. After checking the cat, she noticed a small cut by the cat’s shoulder. She originally thought the cat may have gotten itself caught on a fence or a nail or sharp object may have caused the cut. The woman was concerned the next morning that her cat was still not walking on it’s leg so she had the Veterinarian x-ray the cat’s leg. In the x-ray, a small round object consistent with a BB was located still inside the cat and it’s knee was shattered. She was going to have to have the cat’s leg amputated. When she arrived at the police department to make the report, she was asked if she knew who may have shot her cat. She reported seeing the boy across the street running around with a BB rifle in the past. She also mentioned finding dead birds around her house and believed it to be from the neighbor shooting them. Her boyfriend was outside on the porch just before it happened but came inside to get a drink. He was at work at the moment, and she was unsure if he would have noticed seeing the boy.
When an officer arrived at the residence of the boy, they noticed a BB rifle leaning up against the side of the house. When the officer spoke with the juvenile, asking if he comes outside and shoots a BB gun the boy said that he did. The juvenile reported that he has shot at birds in the past but that it only stuns them. When asked about shooting at cats he said that he had not. When the officer asked the juvenile if he had been shooting his BB gun yesterday he answered that he did, but when asked if he had accidentally shot a cat the day before, he then answered that he was not shooting the BB gun, only filling up water balloons on the side of the house. Throughout the conversation the boy reported to authorities that he may have hit a cat accidentally but not shooting at them. The BB may have ricocheted off something and hit it. Eventually the juvenile explained to the officer where he was and maybe where the cat was when he shot at it. The adults were made aware of the City Code violation for shooting the BB gun in city limits and advised to put the BB gun up so the juvenile could not get it anymore and to keep an eye on him regarding hurting other animals in the future. The juvenile was referred to Juvenile Probation for Cruelty to Animals.