Cat survives after being shot in the face with an arrow

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) - A cat barely survives being shot in the face with arrow, and now, a search for whoever shot him is underway.

MoMo stares longingly out the window, anxious to return to the great outdoors.  But not a chance.
“I just worry that this might happen again. And obviously somebody did it on purpose, because hitting him in the face, they had to be pretty close,” says Belleville resident Debbie Hayes.
Hayes met the stray cat about three years ago when he showed up on her back porch. Debbie named him MoMo, started feeding him, and the rest is history.
“He comes up every day in the morning and night and eats, and comes in my house,” she says.
But when MoMo walked inside this past Monday, Hayes was sickened by what she saw.  Gesturing to a thick, black arrow, she says, “That’s when I saw this sticking out of his face.  It went in below his eye, and then it grazed his skull and came out back here.”
She rushed the cat to an emergency clinic, where vets skillfully removed the arrow.
Belleville Animal Clinic Veterinarian Lindsay Awsumb explains, “We all get into this field to help animals, and do the best that we can for them, and that’s a really heartbreaking side of the job for sure.”
Hayes adds, “One more inch, either way, would’ve killed him. So they fixed him up, and gave us back the arrow.”
Now, the Villa Madero subdivision resident is hoping that this piece of evidence, likely shot from a handheld crossbow, could help find the culprit: “He only roams maybe a block and a half in each direction. So he doesn’t go far, so that tells me where it happened is not too far from my house.”
If you’d like to help out with costs associated with MoMo’s recovery, click here:


  • Craig

    Killing an animal because you dont like that type of animal doesn’t mean kill or hurt it. Whoever tried to kill this cat obviously has some reason for doing it. Turn yourself in before the police come knocking at you door.

  • Aaron

    The argument can be made on either side. This lady only feeds THIS cat and he stays 70-80% in her yard and in her house. The cat also allows anyone in the neighborhood to pet it and is very friendly. It is a major over-reach to call this animal feral. What if this was a kid being shot? Discharging any weapons in a neighborhood is a dumb idea.
    Some people may say that humans are a nuisance on this planet but it does not make it okay to be a vigilante and do what you want.
    If you want to donate:

  • Groovy Chick

    If you don’t want animals in your flower beds I have a solution that works, and does not kill them. When you prune your roses keep the dead rose cane. Clip the cane so it can lie flat. Lay it as a grid on your mulch. If you get the right mulch the cane blends right in. Nature’s barbed wire.

  • Buck O'Famagh

    Chad, you seem to be the only one on here with a modicum of sense. To the cat huggers:
    $1200? Really? For a stray cat? Of which there are far too many running loose. Prolific predators who are the number one killers of song birds in north America? Yeah, right. The shelters have to kill cats by the thousands because fools think that each and every one is special. They are more often than not, a nuisance. Based on many of these comments, you’d crash your car to avoid running over a cat. I’d say the archer needs more target practice.

    • Jan Morgan

      Buck. I live in an area that people feed the strays. It also happens to be that location that many drop their cats off in the farmland. Yes, they are a nuisance, and I would probably not fork over any real $ vetting them, more or less would drop them off at AC because I am sick of cats. I have spent some money spaying all I can, but the neighbors keep attracting more. I have one, neutered, male who only eats inside.

      But, this… This is not a solution. This is some sick person that shot a cat that was A. Friendly. B. Clearly well-fed / in good health so probably a pet. and C. Left it to suffer and die. Looking at some of the cats in my area, you can’t get within 30 feet of a real feral, let alone close enough to shoot them in the head.

      The person that did this deserves what’s coming to them.

  • can man

    There are 2 problems here.1 shooting a wild cat. Call animal control get a live trap and catch it let them deal with the cat. Our tax dollars at work. 2 feeding wild cats. That’s the main problem. How many offspring did that cat have in 3 years of running around?? Did she get a ticket for feeding the wild cat. I have trapped 8 feral cats since May,no one came to claim them, or look for them.They have all been put down by the county, our tax dollars at work $$ Keep your cats inside if you love them, not every one is a cat lover, if it doesn’t show up in the morning blame yourself!!

  • Toni

    My cat got out about 3 or 4 years ago he looks just like this cat we called him Garfield. He was fixed and very loving
    . I wonder if this was my cat.

  • Kate

    Don’t blame the cats or dogs that are feral. It is irresponsible owners and breeders you should be angry with. A cat, like any other living creature, just wants to live.

  • Kimbers

    Im a bit confused here!!! Everyone is commenting about ALL these feral cats but the story is only about one cat, that happened to be stray before she decided to begin taking care of it…..didnt mention him bringing friends?? As I see with so many comments connected to stories, they so get blown completely away from the actually story. Its sad…bottom line there was a stray cat (could have been several reasons this happened, not the cats fault) and someone was kind enough to begin taking care of it and them some ignorant a@# came along and shot it in the face! I truly hope they find out who did this and they have to answer for it.

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