BELLA VISTA (KFSM) - Two kittens were taken to the Bella Vista Animal Shelter this past week with severe injuries, including broken legs.
One of the two kittens had busted teeth in addition to its broken leg, according to manager Tammie Cavness. Cavness said the kitten with broken teeth was also shot multiple times with a BB gun in the jaw, back and neck. She said it was obvious what had happened.
"Animal cruelty definitely with being shot with pellets, three pellets in it it didn't just happen, someone had to of shot it," Cavness said.
She said the kitten, who they didn't have time to name, eventually died after not recovering from the anesthesia used during surgery. Cavness said the vet suspected the kitten had a collapsed lung.
She said the shelter does have security cameras outside its facility, but said they weren't able to determine how the kitten got there.
The cat that wasn't shot with a BB gun is still alive but had its front leg amputated Wednesday morning (June 10). Dr. Leeth Harper operated on the cat, and said she also has a large gash in her mouth.
"It's really hard to discern whether these cats were maliciously injured or whether it was truly an accident and they were just a wild cat that got hit," Harper said.
He said animal cruelty can be difficult to prove, because injuries often resemble each other.
A Bella Vista animal control officer said if they find the person responsible, that person could be facing a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty, or if there is evidence of torture, it could be a felony charge.
"There's just no way for us to know whether it did or not because the cat can't tell us," Harper said.
After the shelter announced that the medical bills for the two kittens would be "sizable," multiple donors came forward to help pay for the animals' care.
The shelter accepts donations on their website here.