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Suspects Sought In Horrific String Of Cat Shootings

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Cedar Ridge, CA – Six different domestic cats have been found shot in the Cedar Ridge area of Tuolumne County spanning two years with the latest just last month – now a national animal advocacy group is offering a cash reward to help catch the culprit.

With only some bullet casings and no suspects or witnesses, Tuolumne County Animal Control turned to the Humane Society of the United States for help. The non-profit is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible for the ongoing shootings. Tuolumne County Animal Control Manager Mike Mazouch has this message for the shooter, “It’s a cruel and inhumane thing to do to an animal. There are other ways to resolve problems with loose cats, other than shooting a defenseless animal.”

Humane Society of the United States California State Director Sabrina Ashjian says violence against animals is a crime that affects entire communities. She suggests, “It takes a truly disturbed person to shoot defenseless cats.” Ashjian adds, “We hope that this reward will encourage anyone with information about this terrible crime spree to come forward, not only to help seek justice for these cats but also to ensure the safety of the entire community.”

The string of cat shootings has been going on since 2017 when feline “Woodpile” was found wounded on November 1st. The feline had to be euthanized, sadly, due to the extent of the injuries. Most recently was the report of three cats shot in the same area just last month, Sept. 9th and on August 30th, all were saved by treatment at a local veterinarian office. Mazouch notes that for two of those cats, “Sage” and “BC,” this was the second time they were hit by bullets as they also suffered wounds after a July 25th attack.

The gunman has also targeted several feral cats, which have been reported shot and killed in the same area, according to Mazouch. He advises: the shooter could be charged with a felony and up to 3 years behind bars along with thousands of dollars in fines. While Mazouch is not ready to release the type of gun or caliber of the bullets being used, he stresses, “We know it’s happening. We have the evidence. We just don’t have a witness that has actually observed someone doing this. So, we’re hoping for a witness to come forward.”

Anyone with information regarding these cases is asked to call Tuolumne County Supervising Animal Control Officer Joe DeCosta at 209-694-2730 or during normal business hours and the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office at 209-533-5815 after hours.

Noting that the shooter took aim at the cats from head to tail, Mazouch relays that luckily none were left maimed for life. Although “Penny”, one of the three recent victims, is still undergoing treatment for an embedded bullet in her head.

“I’ve actually seen these cats after they have been released from the vet and they’re back at home and you wouldn’t know anything happened to them,” shares Mazouch, who continues, “I just saw last week the two cats that were shot twice and they are doing very well.”