A man in Pennsylvania has been charged with shooting two cats, killing one and injuring another, as per CBS affiliate KYW News. Shawaun Lakins shot the cats near the Aspen Falls Apartments in Falls Township last month. As such, he is facing “two counts of aggravated animal cruelty.” However, it’s a local organization that can be credited with helping authorities uncover Lakins as the man responsible for the shootings. The Bucks County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) offered a $2,500 reward asking the public for help in identifying the suspect.
Cat loses an eye in shooting
One of the cats, Jackie, underwent an emergency surgery to remove her injured eye. However, vets could not safely remove a pellet stuck in her skull near her left eye. This was due to the sensitivity of the location.
Tootsie, a white cat, died in the shooting. Subsequent scans showed a pellet stuck near her spine. In an interview with ABC affiliate WPVI News, Tootsie’s owner, Kathy Kehoe, said, “She was laying against the curb, wrapped around the tire of a car in front of me.”
Kehoe said she saw a hole in Tootsie’s head and that the feline was dead when she found her. She also added that both Tootsie and Jackie were “indoor/outdoor cats.” As such, the duo used to spend some time outside every morning.
“This is so sad. Whoever did this, I feel so sorry for them. I feel so bad for them because how can you be cruel to an animal?” Kehoe said.
Suspect identified after anonymous tip
The local SPCA chapter shared on Instagram they received an anonymous tip after posting the reward offer on social media.
The post reads: “BCSPCA investigators received video footage showing a man in a trench coat who appeared to conceal something and then the sound of possible gunshots before a black and a white cat are seen running in the parking area.”
Linda Reider, BCSPCA’s executive director, expressed her gratitude to the public for helping officials in identifying the suspect. “We are so thankful to the community who shared the reward post and news stories on social media.”
“Thanks to the actions of concerned citizens, someone with credible information heard the story and contacted our Humane Law Enforcement team,” Reider said. She also added that the case “should send a message to anyone who considers shooting or otherwise harming animals in Bucks County.”
According to officials, Jackie is currently home and recovering well.