A Boise woman whose cat was shot earlier this month is sending out a warning to other pet owners in a effort to prevent it from happening to someone else.
Genny Goldy's cat, Cheeto, was an indoor-outdoor cat. He walked the same path in the neighborhood, which is off Ustick between Five Mile and Cloverdale roads, every morning.
On March 3, he was gone longer than usual, so Goldy checked the tracker Cheeto wore.
"Saw him headed towards our house, so I turned the tracker off because I knew he was headed home at that point," she said. "About 45 minutes later I realized he hadn't come home."
So she checked again and noticed the tracker was frozen. Thinking it was just a malfunction with the tracker, Goldy waited a little longer.
"I heard a great big loud meow at the door, and I turned around and he was at the dog door but he couldn't push through it. We have a dog door that he goes in and out," she said. "And so I open the door and went out and my first thought is he's been hit by a car."
Cheeto was bleeding from what looked like a tiny cut. Goldy rushed him to the vet.
"The doctor said, 'Don't really know how to tell you this, but he wasn't hit by a car and he wasn't attacked by a dog or the raccoon. He's been shot. There's a bullet in his belly,'" she said. "My brain went gray and I couldn't even think. Who would shoot a cat?"
Cheeto had been shot by what police believe is a pellet gun. The small bullet traveled through the cat's spleen, colon and stomach and was lodged in left wall of his stomach.
"And then his heart stopped and that was it," Goldy said. "At that point I wasn't sad, I was angry."
Goldy believes she knows who did it based off of where the tracker stopped working and previous incidents other neighbors had, but she can't prove it. With no witnesses and no proof, legally not much can be done.
"Animals are unfortunately regarded as property here," said Sam Kennedy, a spokesperson for the Idaho Humane Society. "So it is unfortunately treated as property damage. Unfortunately, they really are case by case so what occurs in one case may be treated entirely different than another one."
Regardless, both the Humane Society and Goldy encourage anyone in this situation to report it. The more documentation, the more likely something can happen.
"Even if you didn't witness it, but you know the area it was in we can at least go out and inspect and see if we notice any signs," Kennedy said.
Goldy wants to educate and inform people, with the hope that no one else will have to to through a similar experience.
"If something good can come from this, protecting the rest of the animals in our neighborhood," she said. "Letting people know that it's not okay."
If you suspect an animal has been shot or maliciously hurt in your neighborhood, contact animal control at (208) 343-3166.
There is a Go Fund Me to help the Goldy family pay off their veterinary bills.