Reward offered for information on Burke County cats who were dumped and killed

Two survivors are safe with Rena Rikard

This is an update on the case of Burke County, North Carolina cats who were dumped on the side of the road, with many being shot later as they ate. The case goes a lot deeper than the information available in this previous article.

Cat’s Cradle Rescue GoFundMe webpage has been created as an incentive for anyone who knows about the person who either dumped or shot the cats to come forward. As of the time of this article, more than $3,000 has been raised.

The Animal House of Rutherford College is treating the sick and injured cats with the promise of payment later. The Veterinarian, Dr. Kennedy, removed a 9mm bullet from the upper lip of one of the deceased babies. The jaw was obliterated and the baby never had a chance. They are dehydrated and sick as well as injured.

In all, 17 cats have been found and nine of those have died. A fence where the dead cats were found shows holes from a 9mm round, marks from a shotgun blast and shell casings from a 22. It appears someone was using the cats for target practice since bullet marks were found high along the fence, as well as someone shooting the cats as they ate after being dumped.

Fence showing bullet holes (WBTV screenshot)

Veterinarian E.J. Kennedy is trying to save the cats and told The News

“We had a lady bring in nine cats (Monday). Three of them were dead on arrival. One of them had a 9 mm hollow-point lodged in its skull, which we removed for evidence. … Another one of those cats had been shot in the chest cavity and it was dead. A third cat had no external injuries and I presume it was poisoned.

Three other cats that she brought in were in apparently good health, so we examined them and did some tests and sent them home. Of the three remaining cats, two were shot. One had a through-and-through injury from the right side to the left side with what looked like a 9 mm bullet that miraculously missed the abdominal cavity, the chest cavity as well as the spine. That cat’s doing very well. He got some wound treatment today. He’s on antibiotics and he can go home (Tuesday). The last cat has a 9 mm bullet lodged in his pelvis. It looks like he’s had trauma to the pelvis and the left hip, and we’re probably going to have to do surgery on him.”

This kitty has a 9mm lodged in his leg and may require amputation

Lisa Tessener and Rena Rickard are caring for the surviving cats. None were determined to be feral and are actually very friendly. If the owner isn’t found, these cats will soon be looking for a new forever home.

Cat advocate Amy Jackson constantly has a fundraiser going through a group called Furry Paws Yard Sale where all the sellers in the group sell new or gently loved items or hand-made items to donate the profits to animal rescues or for specific rescue animals in need of vetting.

Usually, 100% of the proceeds goes for vetting at her sanctuary, but for the remaining time in the month of December through February Amy will be donating 25% of her profits/proceeds directly to The Animal House of Rutherford College for vetting of the cats who were dumped and shot.

Those in the Burke County area are asked to be on the lookout for a light silver Dodge Ram and also keep your ears open about someone bragging about killing multiple cats in the Roger Hill Road in Connelly Springs. This type of abuser loves to tell their story, so someone out there knows something. They may or may not live in the Connelly Springs area of Burke County, North Carolina.

Rena posted an update Saturday that she received information from a neighbor that a silver truck with a short white heavy set male with a beard was at this location the same day. The neighbor stopped and watched the guy and the guy put the kennels back in the truck and left. He had to return and dump the cats out. Whether this is the same person who shot and poisoned the cats is unknown.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

Note: This is NOT the same case as the cats who were dumped in Benson, North Carolina.

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