KAILUA-KONA — Another cat was reportedly found with a hunting arrow embedded in its body, this time at a public park in North Kona.
The discovery of the black female cat Tuesday at Harold H. Higashihara Park brings the total number of cats suffering life-ending injuries after being shot with arrows on Hawaii Island to three in under two years, said Hawaii Island Humane Society Kona Shelter Manager Roxy O’Neal.
The first instance occurred Dec. 19, 2016, when a cat was found injured by an arrow in the Target parking lot in Kona and the second incident of a cat shot with an arrow was reported in the Hilo area about six months later. All three animals, including the one found this week, were ultimately euthanized.
“We need to make sure that this stops. We don’t want to see anymore pets hurt or the possibility of people getting hurt, too,” said Hawaii Island Humane Society Executive Director Donna Whitaker.
She added, “it’s really concerning that someone could be so mean to an animal, but also that they are shooting arrows in public places.”
O’Neal said humane society officers responded Tuesday afternoon after receiving an anonymous call reporting that a cat with an arrow in its body was running around by the park’s baseball fields. Officers responded, and located and secured the cat, which was dying.
It appears the cat had been shot about six to eight days ago, O’Neal said. The arrow penetrated the feline’s forehead and exited somewhere out of the top of its spine.
“It was a pretty substantial, graphic injury in its nature,” she said. The feline was brought to the Kona shelter where it was “humanely euthanized.” It was estimated to weigh about 5-6 pounds and was about 3-6 years old.
O’Neal said that based on the blunt tip of the arrow, the shooter had to be very close to the animal when the arrow was released. The arrow type appeared to be from an intermediate-type bow, specifically for youth.
“My professional opinion is that this was close-range,” said O’Neal, “just because of the amount of force it would take to have that arrow travel through the animal’s skull, and then muscle and spine.”
Hawaii state law forbids the torture or mutilation of pet animals as well as the killing or attempted killing of pet animals without the legal authority or consent of the animal’s owner. Violation of that law is considered a class C felony and carries a sentence of one to five years imprisonment.
“If you intentionally hurt an animal to the point where it has substantial injuries, or it dies, that’s a felony,” O’Neal said. “It’s a major, major crime with some pretty serious repercussions.”
No witnesses had come forward as of Friday. O’Neal and Whitaker said a report was filed by police, though the Hawaii Police Department hadn’t responded to an inquiry for additional detail as of press time.
Anyone with any information on the incident may make an anonymous statement to Roxy O’Neal at the Hawaii Island Humane Society at 329-1175. They can also call police at 935-3311.