‘Prestbury menace shot my cat’

2018-07-02 17:05
Prestbury resident Barbara Still holds a picture up of her cat, Bagheera, who had been shot and killed by an air rifle on Monday.

Prestbury resident Barbara Still holds a picture up of her cat, Bagheera, who had been shot and killed by an air rifle on Monday. (Ian Carbutt)

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The shooting of a pet cat in Prestbury this week sparked outrage in the neighbourhood.

The cat, Bagheera, was found dead by his owner Barbara Still in her neighbour’s garden on Tuesday. An autopsy showed he was killed by an air rifle pellet.

The incident reopened what locals said was a “threatening history” with the man they believe was responsible.

Still called a neighbourhood meeting on Thursday night to address the shooting and confront the alleged perpetrator, which ended with him and his wife leaving in a huff.

Read: Woman finds her cat shot dead in neighbour's garden

During the emotional meeting, the man, whose name has been withheld at this stage as he was not available to respond to the allegations on Friday, did not admit to shooting the cat but also did not deny having killed the cat.

 Still said her cat’s body was found a few metres from the man’s doorstep and that according to the autopsy report, Bagheera would not have been able to move more than a few inches after being shot.

“This means that he was shot on his property,” said Still.

At the meeting Still accused the man of being a “menace” to the local community with other residents backing her up.

One resident claimed the man had verbally threatened almost everyone in the neighbourhood “at some point”.

“Everyone has had some sort of confrontation with him. He has been seen by neighbours shooting monkeys, and has also threatened other neighbours’ pets in the past.”

Another resident, who has lived in the area for over a decade, confronted the man for his alleged threats directed at her two dogs over barking, however, he denied this.

Another claimed some people in the area had even got rid of their pets for fear that they would be harmed by the man.

“Every person present has had some confrontation with him. A few years back he shot a monkey and offered the carcass to a neighbour’s domestic worker.”

The community urged the man to refrain from using his air rifle gun on animals and warned him that people were also at risk.

Still told him that by shooting air gun pellets he could injure a passer-by or a child playing in the road.

She accused him of shooting monkeys in neighbour’s gardens, not only his own.

She also confirmed that she wants to take legal action over the shooting of her cat though she is concerned about funding. Still said she wants justice for her little “love bug” and to stop the man from hurting any more animals.

Readers react

Pietermaritzburg residents reacted emotionally to Still’s story, posting comments on The Witness Facebook page to voice either their support or anger.

• Terece Thandeka Swartz posted: “I’m so sad. Why would anyone shoot a cat? I’m so confused. I also have cats and I would be devastated if this happened to me”.

• “So sorry to read this. I hope whoever did this gets punished. Very tragic,” posted Lee Thirza Pollock Crosby.

• “I saw a Facebook post about him being missing. Such a magnificent cat. How could anyone do this?” asked Eleanor Poulter.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  animal cruelty

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