Cat, opossum impaled by arrows in Hamilton prompts police probe

A cat and an opossum were two animals police say suffered arrow wounds in two separate incidents across Hamilton, Ont. in late April and early May. A police spokesperson says investigators are trying to determine who might be responsible. Urban Wildlife Care / Amanda McDonald / Facebook

Police say a forensics team is studying several arrows connected with a pair of recent animal attacks across Hamilton, Ont.

A Hamilton police spokesperson has confirmed investigators are seeking answers for what appears to be two unconnected incidents in which animals have been impaled by arrows shot from what’s believed to have been a crossbow.

“We are actively investigating these incidents and are appealing to the public for any information that might help us identify those responsible,” Const. Indy Bharaj said.

The incidents, which happened just days apart, are eerily similar but about 12 km from each other, with one in the city’s north end and the other on the southeast Mountain.

Bharaj says the first involved a feline that had been missing for days in late April, popping up in a Simcoe Street East backyard on April 29 with a sharp object lodged in its leg and wound on its back.

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Photo of an arrow estimated to be six inches long that hit an opossum in an area around Charnwood Court in Hamilton, Ont. Urban Wildlife Care / Facebook

“The arrow recovered from the scene has been handed over to forensics for fingerprint analysis,” Bharaj explained.

“Since the incident received media attention, several other residents in the area have contacted police regarding arrows they found on or near their property.”

In a GoFundMe campaign, Amanda McDonald said her 18-month-old tabby, Fern, was rescued from a neighbour’s backyard and required close to $1,700 in X-rays, blood work and surgeries to remove the six-inch bolt.

McDonald says those costs could escalate to the $7,000 mark as a veterinarian continues to treat and monitor an infection in the cat’s belly.

“Fern was, and still is, fighting a massive infection, from the crossbow bolt that had nicked her intestines,” McDonald said.

“We will be touch and go for the next while, waiting to see if the infection will subside with antibiotics.”

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An x-ray shows a metal arrow lodged in a tabby cat’s body. The feline was found April 29 by a north-end Hamilton resident after shot by a crossbow. Amanda McDonald / GoFundMe

Meanwhile, a spokesperson with a Grimsby animal rehabilitation facility says the female opossum treated for a similar injury arrived early on May 4 from a Hamilton Mountain residential neighbourhood.

Urban Wildlife Care custodian Cara Contardi said the marsupial was brought to East Mountain Animal Hospital by a resident from Charnwood Court who said the wounded creature had been recently frequenting her front porch.

“The shot went right underneath her spine and didn’t damage anything or hit any vital organs,” Contardi explained.

“There really wasn’t a lot of infection, and we basically cleaned it up.”

Bharaj says another arrow was discovered that same day on a Mary Street property, less than a kilometre from where the cat was found on Simcoe East.

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“This arrow was black, approximately two feet in length, with blue fletching at the end and a sharp tip,” Bharaj described.

On May 6, another bolt was turned in to police by a resident who found it near a Simcoe Street address.

Anyone with information about either of the episodes on Simcoe Street and Charnwood Court is urged to reach out to Hamilton police or Crime Stoppers.


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