Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Razor-edged cruelty to cat tears at hearts, troubles minds

Dr. Geoffrey Adams of Pasco Animal Hospital in New Port Richey holds the arrow he carefully removed from a cat last week.


Dr. Geoffrey Adams of Pasco Animal Hospital in New Port Richey holds the arrow he carefully removed from a cat last week.

NEW PORT RICHEY — On the afternoon of May 1, a woman a few blocks from Sims Park in New Port Richey found a cat that had been shot with a hunting arrow. The cat was petite and maybe a year old. She had long black and white fur and a sweet disposition. She was not a feral cat. At one point, she belonged to someone.

Just below the slicing arrowhead were two razor blades, jutting out on each side. These types of arrows are used for hunting and shred muscle, crush bone, cause massive blood loss and wounds that do not clot. One brand said the razor blades lead to "quick and humane harvests."

But this cat didn't die quickly.

The woman who found her rushed the cat to Pasco Animal Hospital on U.S. 19. There, Dr. Geoffrey Adams immediately placed the cat on painkillers, so she was comfortable. He inspected the wound and estimated the 7-pound cat had been shot at least a few days before being found.

Dr. Adams often finds BB gun pellets in pets, but has never treated an animal suffering from this amount of cruelty. The arrow had ripped through the front of her chest — entering one side and out the other — but somehow didn't penetrate the rib cage or organs. It tore through her shoulder and chest muscles and eviscerated her right leg.

Dr. Adams carefully removed the arrow and amputated her leg. He repaired as much of the damage as he could. He named the cat Arwen, after the beautiful, noble half-elf from the Lord of the Rings.

The woman filed a report with the New Port Richey Police Department. Lt. Scott Baker said an officer is investigating the crime. He urges anyone with information to call the Police Department at (727) 841-4550. Tips can be anonymous.

Baker has worked at the department for 21 years and takes animal cruelty cases seriously.

"We often see unfortunate cases later on, when these people become worse and move to person-on-person crime," Baker said. "There is a pattern."

Baker said if the shooter is caught, he or she would be charged with a felony and could face up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

At Pasco Animal Hospital, Dr. Adams and his staff all swooped in to save Arwen. They kept her in an incubator on a comfy thermal pad. She had a continuous IV of pain medicine. Adams gave her a blood transfusion from their donor office cat. He and his staff talked to her and petted her and loved her.

During the weekend, Adams kept coming in to check on her, often bringing his wife and toddler with him. Arwen seemed stable and, at one point, began grooming herself, which was a very good sign. He hand-fed her, but she wasn't taking in enough nutrients, so he put her on a feeding tube.

Every time he weighed her suffering with her chances, he kept feeling as though she looked at him and said, "Give me a chance. Give me more time." He said she was a fighter.

But on May 4, a Sunday, her breathing became labored and Adams was there when she died. It all happened very quickly.

"At least she knew the touch of a kind hand and relief from her suffering," Adams said.

He is trying to not be disgusted with humanity. "There are sick people out there and they need help," he said. He feels society is so detached from nature that many don't understand animals. "They suffer and feel pain and feel fear," Adams said.

His staff is devastated.

"She was such a good baby," said Marge Helton, the office manager.

Arwen will be cremated and the office is not planning on having a service. They are keeping the arrow, just in case the police need it as evidence, if they find the person who did this.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (813) 909-4609.

>>fast facts

To help

If you know anything about what happened to this cat, please call the New Port Richey Police Department at (727) 841-4550. Tips can be made anonymously.

Stop animal cruelty

If you see an abused animal, here is what you should do:

Document: Take note of the date, time, exact location and the type of animal(s) involved. Video and photographic documentation (even a cell phone photo) can help bolster your case.

Contact law enforcement: Contact your local animal control agency

( ) or Sheriff's Office ( and present your complaint and evidence. You may wish to remain anonymous, but doing so may make successful prosecution of the case more difficult. If you witness the abuse and it is an emergency, call 911.

Follow up: Be the squeaky wheel. If it seems like your complaint is not being taken seriously, keep calling back. Scheduling an in-person meeting with the law enforcement agency may have a greater impact. Also call news organizations.

Source: Dale Bartlett, Humane Society of the United States

Razor-edged cruelty to cat tears at hearts, troubles minds 05/11/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 8:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Joe Maddon: What my time in Tampa Bay meant — and still means — to me

    The Heater

    Editor's note: The Rays next week in Chicago will meet up for the first time with former manager Joe Maddon, who is in his third year leading the Cubs after nine with the Rays. In advance of the Tuesday-Wednesday series, we asked Maddon to share his thoughts in a column on what his time in Tampa Bay meant to …

    Joe Maddon waits to greet B.J. Upton after Upton's home run in Game 2 of the ALCS in 2008 at Tropicana Field. [Times files (2008)]
  2. First WannaCry, now cyberattack Petya spreads from Russia to Britain


    Computer systems from Russia to Britain were victims of an international cyberattack Tuesday in a hack that bore similarities to a recent one that crippled tens of thousands of machines worldwide.

    A computer screen cyberattack warning notice reportedly holding computer files to ransom, as part of a massive international cyberattack, at an office in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday.  A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across Europe.
[Oleg Reshetnyak via AP]
  3. Pinellas sheriff's corporal had racist, sexist, pornographic content on his cell phone

    Public Safety

    LARGO — A Pinellas County sheriff's corporal resigned recently after an investigation into an alleged extramarital affair revealed a trove of racist, sexist and pornographic images on his personal cell phone.

    Shawn Pappas, 46, resigned as a training division corporal from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office after an investigation revealed a trove of offensive images and videos on his phone. This photo was taken as a screenshot from one of the videos released by the Sheriff's Office that Pappas filmed while on duty. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine reflects on the news from the Congressional Budget Office analysis that could imperil GOP leaders' hopes of pushing their health care the plan through the chamber this week, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [AP photo]
  5. Review: Dan Auerbach, Benjamin Booker plumb the past for inspiration on new albums

    Music & Concerts

    It didn't take Benjamin Booker long to get lumped in with the greats. The Tampa-raised singer-songwriter's 2014 self-titled blues-punk debut brought widespread acclaim, not to mention an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, a tour with Jack White and sessions with Mavis Staples.

    The cover of Benjamin Booker's new album "Witness." Credit: ATO Records