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.
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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.