A young man who shot a neighbour's pet cat in his backyard has been issued with a formal warning and had his air rifle seized by Nelson police.
Sasha the wounded tomcat needed emergency surgery, at a cost to his owners of more than $3000, after he was shot by a young man with a .177 air rifle in The Wood on July 30. He is recovering well, but has a metal plate in his leg, holding his shattered bones together.
Nelson Bays Police area commander Steve Greally said police had identified the shooter and concluded the most appropriate resolution was to permanently confiscate his air rifle.
Mr Greally said a young man had been formally warned for two offences; discharging an air gun near a dwelling house, and reckless ill-treatment of an animal.
He said there was insufficient evidence to pursue a full prosecution.
One of Sasha's owners, Rob Wallace, understood the young man's parents had offered to pay the $3000 surgical bill, but that it would be a struggle for them financially.
Mr Wallace said he was willing to meet them halfway, paying $1500 himself, if they contacted him within 24 hours.
He said neither the young man, nor his parents, had been in contact with the family since the shooting.
Mr Wallace said Sasha was "doing bloody well". He would live with a slight limp, but was returning to the happy, curious, cat he was before being shot.
He thanked the team at Halifax Veterinary Centre for taking care of Sasha.
Mr Greally said it was good to close the file on this investigation, as there had been significant community interest in the story.
"I think what people need to know is that people who needlessly cause pain or suffering to animals are always going to attract the attention of not only the SPCA but of the police.
"Because we do recognise that in some cases, and I'm not saying in this case, but in some cases people who commit these sorts of offences go on to commit these sort of offences on human beings later in life," Mr Greally said.
- © Fairfax NZ News