BY: ANDREW COLTON | EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
Copyright ©2021 MetroDesk Media LLC
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BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The story is horrific. A defenseless kitty cat, lured from its longtime home in West Boca Raton, shot in the face only to have its lifeless, bloodied, furry remains dumped in a nearby canal. It’s a story that was pitched repeatedly to BocaNewsNow.com as the cat was featured on fliers distributed across South Palm Beach County.
A report was even made to Palm Beach County Animal Control.
The only problem: it wasn’t true.
BocaNewsNow.com, suspecting something wasn’t quite right with the story that led to multiple emails and voicemail messages from multiple cat callers, checked in with Palm Beach County Animal Control on Thursday to learn the truth.
“There is no evidence that this cat was shot in the face,” said Capt. David Walesky of Palm Beach County Animal Control. “The cat was buried before we could see it.”
BocaNewsNow.com started receiving calls about the missing cat earlier in the week. The initial story: a group of “community cats” was missing after “living peacefully (nearby) for 6-8 years.” One of the emails we received stated “they are well fed, micro chiped (sic) and vacinated (sic) and now missing.”
Then the messaging became aggressive and accusatory.
“We are looking for tips to bring him home or names of persons who know where he is.”
Note that in the same email, the missing cats suddenly became singular.
Over the next few days, BocaNewsNow.com received additional requests to run the missing cat story. Then, Wednesday evening, a voicemail message was left declaring that a “tipster came in” and that “the cat was shot in the face and thrown in a canal. We have retrieved it.”
The potential of a gunman shooting at animals, then throwing their bodies into a canal would traditionally lead to a police media alert and request for information. People firing weapons indiscriminately tend to get law enforcement reaction. But there were no media advisories. There was no alert from CrimeStoppers of Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office had heard nothing about the animal shooting until we asked.
And when we called one of the cat callers who called us, we landed in voicemail. We asked that caller to ring us back with the incident report number. Our call was not returned.
Capt. Walesky pointed out to us that sad but true, animals do sometimes end up in canals and lakes. He mentioned they get attacked by alligators. It’s the circle of life. It’s not a crime.
That appears to be a difficult reality for the people who apparently believe this cat was the victim of foul play.
“We are offering a $1000 cash reward for the names or names of the persons responsible for this including their arrest and conviction,” said a female caller in voicemail. “It was our family pet for six years. He is now dead and we are burying him in our ground.”
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