FREDERICK, Okla._Police in Frederick are increasing patrols in one neighborhood after someone shot a family's pet cat in the head, and killed it.
The family told police they found their 3-year-old house cat lying in their neighbor's driveway, covered in blood Saturday evening. Not only had it been shot, but someone had also kicked it in the head and dragged it across the concrete. The police chief called it one of the worst acts of animal cruelty he's seen.
Beverly Diaz says she let her cat, Angel, outside for 45 minutes while she went to the store. It was dark when the family got home, but Diaz noticed something strange and couldn't believe what she found.
"I noticed over here in the neighbor's driveway that there was a cat lying there and it wasn't moving or anything. So, I got concerned. You know there's a lot of cats around here."
Diaz says she didn't realize how badly the cat was injured, or that it was her own, until she bent down to pick him up.
"I was in shock. I was angry. I was devastated. Heartbroken. You know, my 14-year-old daughter, she is just devastated. That was her buddy," Diaz said.
The cat had been shot with a pellet gun at point-blank range and his front teeth had been kicked in. She says at that point, all they could do was comfort him.
"His breathing was so shallow, his heart rate was so low. We knew that he was gone, no matter whether we called the vet or not. So, we just decided we are not going to call the vet, we are just going to go ahead instead of the vet trying to work on him, prolonging his suffering," Diaz said.
Diaz says Angel only lived about one hour after they found him. Frederick Police Chief Joel Neely says in his 25 years of experience with the police department, he has worked a number of animal cruelty cases, but a case like this one is not something he sees every day.
"This was blatant animal cruelty. If we can locate the person who did this, they are going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Chief Neely said.
Diaz says what happened to her should serve as a cautionary tale for those who live nearby.
"I know there are other people in the area that have cats outside, not just cats but also dogs, and for a lot of people who love their pets, they're part of your family. It's just like losing a child or a family member when something happens. I am more concerned about my neighbors having to go through this," Diaz said.
Diaz says for now, her three other cats are going to remain inside until the culprit is caught.