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Family grieves

CARYN WIGMORE
Last updated 05:00 28/11/2013
Lou Lou

BELOVED PET: Lou Lou the cat died in Kumeu after being shot.

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The SPCA is going door-to-door in its hunt for the killer of a much-loved cat shot with an air rifle in Kumeu.

Two-year-old tortoiseshell Lou Lou was shot in the stomach about 10.45am on Thursday.

An owner found her at their Hanham Rd home in obvious distress and took her to a Kumeu vet who tried in vain to save the animal.

Lou Lou was put down at about 5.45pm.

"It's a serious issue because this cat would have suffered distress and pain," SPCA Auckland chief executive officer Christine Kalin says.

"There are times when sometimes the most humane intervention is euthanasia. It's very sad."

She is appealing to people for information.

"I think that with this level of callous behaviour and disregard for the welfare of the animal it's important that we do investigate and hold the person accountable."

Lou Lou's owner Karen Van Bemmel says it was difficult to pinpoint the entry wound because the animal was believed to have been shot with a high powered air rifle or at close range.

"The bullet had gone so fast and hard it had cauterised the wound so it didn't bleed."

The cherished pet was born and raised on the family's 4ha lifestyle block.

Mrs Van Bemmel's heartbroken daughter Emily, 18, is an animal lover who works at the district's kennels.

"They must be low lifes doing that to an animal that isn't doing them any harm and I would love to see them prosecuted," Mrs Van Bemmel says.

Lou Lou's death has come at a tough time for the family.

Mrs Van Bemmel's mum Trish Randall died eight weeks ago after a car crash on her way home from chemotherapy treatment for aggressive lung and liver cancer.

Her dad Brian has just come out of hospital.

"I think it's just a bit much at this time of year," she says. "Mum's death was an accumulation of the accident and the toll the cancer and chemo had on her."

Mrs Van Bemmel says she's appalled by the slug gun attack and hopes those responsible feel guilty.

"If it's kids out there with an air rifle, where are the parents?"

She warns people in the area to keep a close eye on their pets and urges witnesses to come forward.

Phone SPCA inspector Kevin Plowright on 256 7300 with any information.

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- Norwest News

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