Rescue group finds cat shot with arrow – May 11, 2007


Rescue group finds cat shot with arrow
May 11, 2007

PONTIAC – An animal rescue group that works in Pontiac picked up a cat Wednesday that had a long arrow through its body.

Now, officials with the group are looking for the person who shot the cat and are urging residents to keep their eyes peeled for animal abuse.

They also are urging parents to talk to their children about how to properly treat animals – and set good examples. Pam Porteous, manager of the Animal Care Network, said a resident living on the 40th block of North Sanford called Pontiac police about the cat after seeing it dart under a van. A police dispatcher called the Care Network, Porteous said, because the city’s animal control division does not have a contract to take cats to Oakland County’s animal shelter, so dispatchers often turn over citizen complaints about cats to the largely volunteer group.

Porteous said when two volunteers arrived, they found the adult male cat hiding under a van in the pouring rain. A 2 1/2-foot arrow had been shot straight through its shoulder area. The volunteers took it to Michigan Veterinary Specialists in Auburn Hills, where it was euthanized.

“Somebody did it on purpose,” Porteous said. “I think it’s probably just kids who are out causing trouble for fun. It upsets us.”

Porteous said her group – which doesn’t receive money from the city – wants to let residents know it’s willing to pick up stray or unwanted animals.

“There’s no reason to abuse them,” she said.

Marie Skladd, president of the Animal Care Network, said parents need to make sure they keep close tabs on their kids, and that they should be concerned if a child is abusing animals.

“It’s no secret when children choose to torture or abuse animals, there will be much larger (behavioral) problems down the road,” Skladd said.

She said what happened with the cat underscores a larger problem in the city. It’s filled with stray cats, she said, and they’re a nuisance to some people.

There are some parts of the city where Care Network volunteers repeatedly find evidence of abuse, such as animals with broken bones. They’ve found cats that have been skinned.

The Animal Care Network gets about 200 calls about animals in Pontiac every week. Since the cash strapped city scaled back its animal control department from two officers to one about two years ago, Care Network officials said their calls have increased. But with the city’s financial situation – it’s facing a deficit of more than $6 million – it seems unlikely that the city’s animal control division will expand anytime soon.

“Over the last two years, it’s as if we are becoming Animal Control,” Skladd said.

A message left Thursday with Animal Control was not returned.

The network relies on donations and is always concerned about having enough money and supplies to provide food and water to outdoor animals, pick up strays and hold lowcost shot clinics.

Care Network officials have met with previous city administrations about forming a possible partnership, with little luck. They met with Mayor Clarence Phillips last year, but it didn’t result in any solid plan, Skladd said. She said the Care Network would still hope to work with the city.

“I don’t have a problem sitting down and talking to them about it,” Phillips said. “I appreciate what they’re trying to do with animals in the city.”

You can help

Anyone with concerns about animals in need in Pontiac should call (248) 420-9823. For more information about the Animal Care Network, call its umbrella group, the Michigan Animal Adoption Network, at (248) 545-5055.

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