Gracie the cat could ways be spotted in a Glen Cove neighborhood on Long Island, walking alongside her dog siblings, but she disappeared Tuesday. Her owner, DJ Hunnicutt, later found that his 5-year-old feline had been shot.
"You never think your animal is gonna be shot. You think potentially hit by a car, but shot? Just shocks you. Doesn’t feel real to this day," Hunnicutt said, adding that he doesn't understand how anyone could hurt such a friendly cat. "She’d play with anybody. She'd run up to you and want to be pet like any other dog."
A neighbor discovered Gracie in their backyard shortly after she disappeared. They immediately called a veterinarian who lived a couple doors down the block.
"I grabbed my cat carrier, went over to look at the cat, I saw she was paralyzed, couldn't move. Didn’t know if she was a stray or owned cat," Mara Digrazia recalled. She took Gracie to the clinic, ran her microchip the next day and found that she belonged to Hunnicutt.
The vet also found that the feline had been shot twice, once in her spine, with what appears to be a pellet gun. Gracie will survive but it's too early to tell if she'll walk again, her owner said.
"[She] might not be able to urinate on her own. As of now, next three days are vital," Hunnicutt said.
The SPCA is now offering a reward for information that leads to the shooter.
"It’s just terrible. This is not something that should be done, like everybody said, especially in a community with kids. I have three babies. What if they missed ricocheted, someone could have gotten hurt," Hunnicutt added.