TAMPA — They want to find out who did it.
Early Wednesday, a passer-by heard gurgling and pulled from McKay Bay an appalling discovery — a cat that had been shot with pellets, put in a carrier marked "Kitty Penitentiary" and tossed in the water.
The cat survived, thanks to the rescue and a trip a veterinarian's office. Now investigators from Hillsborough County Animal Services want the public to help bring the cat's abuser to justice.
"We take this very seriously because we know the Florida Veterinary Specialists at 607 Lumsden Professional Court in Brandon.
Doctors discovered the cat had been shot several times with what appeared to be BB pellets along the side of her body.
They had to shave her black fur off to remove them. She was in good condition, Ryan said.
"The caretakers call her Lovie because she is very affectionate despite the trauma she has been through," Ryan said.
The abusers could be juveniles, based on the writing on the carrier, Ryan said.
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is offering a reward for information. Anyone who knows about this case can call Hillsborough County Animal Services at (813) 744-5660 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can be anonymous.