Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cat recovering from gunshot to the face in Pasco

Dr. Dave Griffin, who operated on Stripy at Animal Care Clinic in New Port Richey, explains how a bullet entered the animal.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Dr. Dave Griffin, who operated on Stripy at Animal Care Clinic in New Port Richey, explains how a bullet entered the animal.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning, a timid cat named Stripy was shot in the face.

The .22-caliber bullet entered under his chin, traveled through his tongue and exited his cheek, shattering some teeth but luckily not breaking his jaw. Bleeding and infected, the cat lived like this for three days before his caregivers caught him and raced him to Animal Care Clinic on Little Road. It was after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and the office was closed, but doctors and staff were still there. Dr. Dave Griffin stayed late to perform surgery.

He had to remove half of Stripy's tongue. The tissue was dying. He inserted a feeding tube into Stripy, who is about 2 years old with brown and black striped fur and golden eyes. Stripy hadn't been able to eat or drink since he was shot.

Griffin gave him medicine for the pain. He also saw the lead-traced path of the bullet on an X-Ray.

"He's a lucky cat," said Griffin, who sees six to 12 cases of cats and dogs being shot each year.

New Port Richey police are investigating this case.

If the bullet had been slightly to the left or right, it likely would have killed Stripy. But, as it looks now, he will survive. He will have to learn how to eat again with his shorter tongue.

"He's been remarkably stoic," Griffin said.

Before being shot, Stripy had a pretty nice life. He lives near the house of Chris and Rowena Hover on Missouri Street. The Hovers are active members of the nonprofit group Feral Friends Network and have trapped and spayed or neutered dozens of feral cats in the nine years they've lived in New Port Richey.

Stripy is one of six feral cats they feed every day. He is gentle, Chris Hover said, and likes to be petted, though he is shy.

If Stripy survives, which he is expected to do, he can't live outside again because of his injuries, Chris Hover said. He hopes to find someone with feral cat experience to adopt him.

"He's such a sweetheart," Hover said.

He knows Stripy doesn't stray too far from his house. He hates to think someone could do that to an animal.

"I'm terrified," he said.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at (727) 869-6229 esullivan@sptimes.com.

Fast Facts

How to adopt Stripy

If you are interested in adopting Stripy, send an e-mail to Chris and Rowena Hover at rememberremember@verizon.net. If you have information about the shooting, call New Port Richey police at (727) 841-4550. For information about the Feral Friends Network, go to www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=355.

Cat recovering from gunshot to the face in Pasco 03/26/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 26, 2009 10:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Who took a knee? How each NFL team responded to Donald Trump's tweets about anthem protests

    Bucs

    NFL players, coaches and owners across the league reacted in various ways on Sunday to remarks from President Donald Trump speaking about NFL players who have protested during the national anthem.

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Florida State out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2011

    Blogs

    Florida State's first 0-2 start since 1989 has led to another low.

  3. From care center to purgatory to 'hellhole': How 11 frail elders died after Irma

    Hurricanes

    As she got ready to say goodbye to her mother at the Hollywood Hills nursing home, Rose Wyda's heart was sick. Hurricane Irma had been gone for nearly 48 hours, but the trail of shattered trees and broken, hissing power lines the storm left behind was still dangerously apparent. And the nursing home was part of the …

  4. Bucs' Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson kneel during national anthem

    Bucs

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings, two days after President Donald Trump made critical remarks about NFL …

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Authorities ID man killed in Clearwater Beach boating crash; Girl, 4, still in critical condition

    Briefs

    An Altamonte Springs man died and a 4-year-old girl remains in critical condition Sunday morning after their personal watercraft collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m.