WEST POINT — Tennessee, a female, black, minx cat, is now safely resting at home after having a pellet successfully removed from her nasal cavity.
The operation was performed Dec. 19 by local veterinarian Katherine Borrett with the Millcreek Animal Hospital in Marriott-Slaterville, said Larry Hyatt, the cat’s owner.
“Tennessee is back at home and is progressing very nicely, thanks to this wonderful veterinarian,” Hyatt said in a written response to the Standard- Examiner.
About two weeks ago the Hyatts discovered their pet cat had been shot by a pellet from an air rifle.
Davis County Animal Care and Control continues to investigate the complaint.
The person who shot the cat, if caught, could be charged with a felony, Davis County Animal Control Director Clint Thacker said, because Utah law forbids intentionally harming an animal.
Thacker said the shelter gets at least two cats a year that have been shot.
The Hyatts have offered a reward to anyone who has information that would lead to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for shooting their cat.
Tennessee started coughing, sneezing and scratching at her face several weeks ago. When she wouldn’t leave her face alone, the Hyatts took her to Dr. Mary Smart, their veterinarian, at Quail Point Veterinary Hospital.
An X-ray showed a pellet near the cat’s eye and inside her sinus cavity, Hyatt said.
“Dr. Smart told us (surgery to remover the pellet) is above her skill level,” he said.
After a front-page story about Tennessee’s plight ran in the Standard Examiner, Dr. Borrett was made aware of the situation.
Tennessee became a part of the Hyatt family about nine years ago, after someone dumped her off near their home.
“She picked us,” Joni Hyatt said of the cat known as “T”.
The Hyatts have other cats, but Tennessee is the only one that refuses to live in their home. She prefers the garage, they said. She usually stays close to home and doesn’t wander too far off.
“Other cats come into my yard, and I understand some people don’t like it when cats dig up their gardens, but they can either come see me or call animal control,” Hyatt said. “You don’t shoot a cat.”
The Hyatts said they appreciate all the care and support they’ve received.
In a different case, Syracuse resident Joannna Reeder recently made a complaint to county animal services and Syracuse Police that someone shot her pet chickens and duck with either an air rifle pellet gun or a BB gun.
Police and county officials have been unable to substantiate Reeder’s claims.
But Reeder did take her wounded pets to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, where the fowl were treated for wounds.
Anyone with information about either incident can call 801-444-2200.