HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A violent act on a family's pet has a family concerned over their community's safety.
An emergency visit to the Vet's office last night left one local woman stunned, hearing her cat had actually been shot. Now, Heidi Barca's concern isn't just for her cat, but also for the safety of her community.
Wednesday evening, Barca heard her cat Roman yelping in pain.
"I found him over here by the deck in the pine straw. I guess he just tried to make it home 'cause he knew we'd take care of him," recalls Heidi Barca, the owner of Roman the cat.
Finding her cat bleeding in the bushes, Heidi Barca rushed her family's feline to the vet. She thought he was hit by a car, bitten by a snake, or had gotten into a fight with another animal. But it wasn't bite marks the Vet found. It was small bullets.
"One of them was in his chest, another in his abdomen," explains Ross Larson, an associate veterinarian with the VCA Palmetto Animal Hospital who operated on Roman.
It was surprising to everyone to find the two small bullets inside of the family's feline.
"He did have a hole going into his chest, which can cause problems breathing," Larson explains.
Roman was given only a 50/50 chance of surviving the surgery. The cat is now recovering but will still have the two small bullets inside of him, according to vets with the VCA Palmetto Animal Hospital.
While Roman is recovering, Barca is still worrying.
"If they're shooting a cat, and they have a gun who is to say they can't shoot somebody else? What if a child had been walking by and they shot the child?" expresses Barca.
She's never had problems in the past and says her neighbors are friendly.
"There's always children outside playing, you're never afraid to be outside at night. Everyone helps each other and we just have really great neighbors," she says.
However, she is afraid someone acting violent towards a family pet could become even more violent.
"Animal abuse is one steps towards other abuse late on in years," she worries.
While filing a police report, an officer told Barca it is illegal to shoot an animal on your property unless that animal is causing you harm. She hopes the shooter is caught and will face animal cruelty charges.
"To me it's abusing a gun. A gun is a privilege and to use it to shoot an innocent animal is just terribly wrong," says Barca.
Vets say it is impossible to know how many pets fall victim to similar shot wounds because not all of them can make it home in time to get help.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-03-11 13:00:39 GMT
A man has been arrested in connection with the 2012 beating death of a 70-year-old man in New Britain, police said.Alexis Rodriguez, 32, was identified as the suspect in the murder of James Joseph, Sr.,More >
A man has been arrested in connection with the 2012 beating death of a 70-year-old man in New Britain, police said.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:28 AM EDT2014-03-11 12:28:24 GMT
A Hartford police sergeant was in the hot seat following a high speed chase that was caught on camera. A few weeks ago, Sgt. Eric Smith barreled through a red light on a city street, hit speeds of 80 milesMore >
A Hartford police sergeant was in the hot seat following a high speed chase that was caught on camera.More >
Monday, March 10 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-03-10 22:49:18 GMT
One of the two men accused in a deadly Cheshire home invasion in 2007 was found "unresponsive" in his cell Monday morning.Steven Hayes, who was convicted in a 2007 attack in which Jennifer Hawke-PetitMore >
One of the two men accused in a deadly Cheshire home invasion in 2007 was found "unresponsive" in his cell Monday morning.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-03-11 15:50:48 GMT
Firefighters in West Haven are on the scene of an early morning fire. Officials said the fire was called in at 89 Coleman Street shortly after 4:30 a.m. There is no word on if anyone has been injured. WFSBMore >
Officials said a couple and their grown daughter were killed in an early morning fire Tuesday at a West Haven condominium complex.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 7:51 AM EDT2014-03-11 11:51:06 GMT
Health officials are investigating two cases of measles in Fairfield County and now, schools are warning parents about the disease.An adult, whose age was not provided, and an infant got the measles, accordingMore >
Health officials are investigating two cases of measles in Fairfield County, and now schools are warning parents about the disease.More >
Monday, March 10 2014 9:25 AM EDT2014-03-10 13:25:30 GMT
Patients and doctors said they were worried that their personal information was exposed after someone found medical records from a lab in Newington.Therese Carey said she was surprised when EyewitnessMore >
Patients and doctors said they were worried that their personal information was exposed after someone found medical records from a lab in Newington.More >
Monday, March 10 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-03-10 21:12:44 GMT
State police are investigating a medical incident in Lebanon Monday morning. Officers were called to a scene on Smith Road around 8:50 a.m. The incident remains under investigation by state police andMore >
State police are investigating after two people were found dead in a motor vehicle in Lebanon Monday morning.More >