Local News

Shelter owner suspicious after cat is shot

Posted September 28, 2015 6:26 p.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2015 6:27 p.m. EDT

— A heated battle between neighbors focuses on a cat with a bullet wound.

The owner of the Goathouse, one of the state’s largest no-kill animal shelters, said she believes that the bullet came from her neighbor’s property, which was at one time, a gun range.

The bullets in question were removed from the cat, named Layna, at the Veterinary Surgical Referral Practice in Cary on Monday. Layna is expected to recover but Goathouse owner Siglinda Scarpa, wants to know who shot her cat and why.

More than 250 stray and sick cats live at the Goathouse Animal Refuge, a no-cage, no-kill shelter in Pittsboro. Scarpa, a passionate advocate of her animals, said she became worried Layna began limping last month.

“We couldn’t find anything wrong,” said Scarpa.

A veterinarian found that two bullets pierced Layna’s leg and side. It is a mystery how they got there, but Scarpa said she has suspicions.

“I think it was either a stray bullet, which seems really strange with these trees, but it could also be that somebody just came and shot the cat,” she said.

The Goathouse is separated by a fence from an adjacent property that was once a gun range. Property owner Mark Atkeson opened it a few years ago, but voluntarily shut it down after Scarpa complained about the noise. He said that he still occasionally comes to the property to shoot.

Atkeson hotly disputes the accusation that the bullets removed from Layna were fired from his property.

“I wouldn’t shoot a cat, really I wouldn’t and nobody I would ever permit to come out here would just randomly shoot an animal,” Atkeson said.

Surgeons believe that the 22-caliber, unjacketed bullets came from a low velocity gun and were most likely fired within the last few months.

Layna has been at The Goathouse for two years, according to Scarpa.

Scarpa said that she would like to have the bullets forensically examined in order to determine who shot Layna.