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Cat in Ontario recovering from gun shots to head

A cat named "Joe" is recovering from surgery after being shot in the head.
A cat named "Joe" is recovering from surgery after being shot in the head.
Sarnia & District Humane Society

A cat in southwestern Ontario, Canada, is on the mend after being shot with 17 pellets in the head, according to a local animal welfare group.

Surgeons successfully removed the male feline’s badly damaged left eye and all but one of the pellets, said the Sarnia & District Humane Society, which is overseeing his care. The cat was found in early February and has been named “Joe.”

“Joe is eating extremely well and we are very optimistic that the worst is finally behind this little guy,” the group wrote on its Facebook page Feb. 12.

A 19-year-old Sarnia man has been arrested and charged with two counts of animal cruelty in connection with the shooting, Sarnia police announced Feb. 14. The charge of injuring a cat willfully and without lawful cause carries a maximum sentence of five years behind bars, while the count of willfully causing unnecessary suffering has a maximum penalty of two years, police said. The man, whose home was searched by police, also faces several drug possession charges. A bail hearing was scheduled for Feb. 19.

Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information to call Detective Constable Miro Soucek at 519-344-8861 extension 6191 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Meanwhile, an online petition drive has been launched urging authorities to seek the maximum penalty possible for the alleged perpetrator. As of late Feb. 18, the petition had almost 6,000 signatures.

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