Carers quietly speak to five-month-old she-cat Ferrari so as not to scare the traumatized animal. She was shot about a month ago, said Inga Čehoviča, a Board Member of the society “Murrā.” “Yes, she has two bullets, they are not wedged right into the spine itself, but one has gone through parallel to the spine,” Čehovica said.
Now Ferrari is slowly recovering. She can already walk and play like other kittens. The shot animal was spotted in the street by a man who took the cat to a veterinary clinic and paid for first aid.
“At first, the prognosis was quite poor because we were told she had complete rear paralysis,” said Čehovica.
The case was reported to the State Police (VP), which has opened criminal proceedings regarding animal cruelty.
This is not the first shooting incident in the particular area, noted VP spokeswoman Inga Teivāne-Treinovska: "On October 24 this year, a woman found an injured cat in Kalkūni, Augšdaugava municipality, in the backyard. The cat had a gunshot wound and the cat died at a medical treatment facility."
Albīna Meinarte is the person who received a request from neighbors to look at the injured cat who sadly lost its life. “I took the cat, despite having a second job, straight to the clinic,” Meinarte said. “He was shot and had a gunshot wound and cannot be rescued due to the injury he suffered.”
The animal rescuer said that the sounds of gunshots are heard frequently - a shooting range is nearby, so she never linked it to cats. She believes someone did this deliberately and perhaps lives in the same neighborhood. She no longer feels safe as there is no guarantee the perpetrator will not start shooting at humans.
Irēna Mihailova, spokeswoman of the society “Animal guards” (Dzīvnieku sargi), claimed – observations show that the Latgale region has a harsher attitude towards animals and a weaker understanding of welfare: "Drowning kittens, puppies, being cruel to them is particularly popular in the countryside. Indifference in the treatment of animals is particularly evident in Latgale."
In total, five criminal proceedings for the cruel treatment of animals have been opened in Latgale this year.
Police have recently opened an investigation into the shooting of cats in Kalkūni Parish and there are no reports yet of a possible culprit. The maximum sentence can be up to three years in prison.