ALTOONA, Pa. (WJAC) — Someone is shooting cats in Altoona, and police are asking for the public's help to find out who.
Police say even though cats seem to be the target, this poses a danger to people, as well.
Altoona police say the cats turned up with gunshot wounds in the 2800 block of Seventh and Eighth avenues.
"There have been seven cats shot over the past two weeks in that area. These cats were recovered by some residents in the neighborhood and then transported to the Central PA Humane Society,” Altoona police Sgt. Matthew Plummer said.
Three of the cats died from their injuries. One cat will undergo surgery to remove a bullet.
"There is a .22-caliber projectile lodged underneath the cat's jaw, and from what I understand, the jaw will have to be partially removed," Plummer said.
Police say they are watching the area, but they say they need the public's help.
"There's a wooded area back there, so officers have been going out there and checking,” Plummer said. “We're asking any neighbors, there's been some businesses up there, if they hear anything or see someone suspicious or, obviously, anyone carrying a firearm to contact 911 immediately."
Plummer says discharging a firearm in a populated area puts public safety in jeopardy.
"An uninterrupted round coming out of a .22-caliber rifle can travel up to a mile, so that puts the neighborhood in danger. It's illegal to discharge a firearm within the city of Altoona. It's a city ordinance. It's also a criminal offense when it comes to cruelty to animals," Plummer said.
The Central PA Humane Society is asking for donations to help offset the cats' medical expenses.