April 22, 2014 9:42 pm

Cat found in Cranbrook survives shooting, attempted beheading

Nelson the cat is now recovering after he was found shot in the head, with a huge gash in his neck.

BC SPCA

VANCOUVER – The BC SPCA says it is a horrific case of animal abuse.

An injured cat was found by the highway in Cranbrook and brought to their East Kootenay branch. The cat, named Nelson for the famous singer Willie Nelson, had been shot seven times by a pellet gun and had a huge gash in his neck.

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“The pellets were embedded in his head,” says branch manager Brenna Baker. “The vet says the wounds in his neck appear as though someone actually tried to cut his head off. He was severely emaciated. He is such a sweetheart and has gone through hell. We just want people to know…that this kind of abuse is happening in their communities – in their backyards.”

The BC SPCA is also dealing with two other cases of animal cruelty, in Chase and Revelstoke, where one dog was shot with a pellet gun and another was starved to death.

These stories come one day before Animal Abuse Prevention Day. It started in 2011 by a man named Wade Shaw, who wanted to have a day to honour the Whistler sled dogs that were killed on April 23, 2010.

This is the first year the BC SPCA is part of the campaign. They say they investigated 7,839 cases of animal abuse and neglect in 2013. They removed 1,340 from dangerous or neglectful situations, executed 102 warrants and submitted 23 charges of animal neglect to Crown Counsel.

“We want to have it as a day to recognize that terrible cases do happen,” says Stakeholder relations officer Erica Mattson. “But there is something that we can all do to take action.”

There are a number of ways to help prevent animal abuse, as outlined on the BC SPCA website. These range from calling the BC SPCA if you suspect an animal is being abused or neglected to signing a pledge to prevent animal cruelty.

Nelson is now recovering from what happened to him. The pellets were removed from his head and he required several stitches, but he will need extensive dental surgery, as his teeth were shot and many are broken.

A non-profit organization, the BC SPCA relies mainly on public donations to help the province’s most vulnerable animals. If you can help Nelson and other animals like him in need of care at the BC SPCA East Kootenay Branch, you can donate online at spca.bc.ca/eastkootenay or in person at 3339 Highway 3 and 95, Cranbrook.

If anyone knows anything about Nelson or how he received his injuries, please call the BC SPCA Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1-855-622-7722.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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