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A 5-Year-Old Cat Is Shot in the Face, Another Disappears as Owner Fears Malice

| October 27, 2016

Baby Cat was found motionless, shot in the face, on Oct. 15. (FCSO)

Baby Cat was found motionless, shot in the face, on Oct. 15. (FCSO)

At the beginning of the month one of Christina Deangelis’s cats inexplicably disappeared and never reappeared. On Oct. 15, Deangelis walked out of her house at 15 Laguna Forest Trail in Palm Coast to find another one of her cats, 5-year-old Baby Cat, lying motionless in the driveway.

Baby Cat’s jaw was “extremely deformed,” she told Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies, according to an incident report, and there was blood on the small cat’s gold-and-black-striped fur. Deangelis immediately took the cat to Flagler Animal Hospital, where Dr. Erika Mendez carried out the examination, along with an x-ray.

The veterinarian concluded Baby Cat had been shot in the face.

The bullet, or projectile, entered through the upper left muzzle and stopped above the cat’s left shoulder. “The injuries were severe,” the incident report stated. “The jaw was broken in three pieces, and her shoulder also appeared fractured.” There is little question that the cat was the victim of willful cruelty.

Because Baby Cat was so severely injured, the decision was made to euthanize. The projectile was removed from the cat’s body afterward and turned over to the sheriff’s office as evidence as the animal hospital reported the incident. The sheriff’s office launched an investigation.

By then Deangelis told police that she was worried her other cat had been killed as well. Deangelis has lived on Laguna Trail for three years “and has never had a problem with any neighbors or previous problems with her animals,” according to the incident report. She has no idea who might be responsible for the cruelty.

In Florida, animal cruelty is a crime. Anyone who kills any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner commits animal cruelty, a first-degree misdemeanor. Also, someone who intentionally commits an act to any animal that results in the cruel death or unnecessary pain or suffering commits aggravated animal cruelty, a third-degree felony. With very few exceptions,  it illegal to shoot a firearm in a residential neighborhood.

On Oct. 19, a deputy conducted a neighborhood canvass, making contact with several residents along Lleberry Path and Llethorn Place, on the back side of Laguna Forest Trail. “No pertinent information was obtained,” the report states. Palm Coast Animal Control reported no complaints about cat nuisances in the area.

The case bears a few similarities to another recent animal-cruelty incident, back in late February in Palm Coast’s W Section, when a dog was found dead of gunshots. That incident was mired in a messy and at times bizarre dispute between neighbors, one of whom was investigated, his home searched, though no arrests followed.

Earlier today the sheriff’s office issued a release about the cat shooting and included the following recommendations:

If you have problems with animals in your neighborhood, please contact the proper authorities. These agencies are available to help peacefully resolve situations involving animals that may be considered a nuisance. Here’s how to reach the agencies:

  • Flagler Animal Services: (386) 246-8612. They serve unincorporated Flagler County and the cities of Bunnell and Flagler Beach.
  • Palm Coast Animal Control: (386) 986-2520.
  • Flagler County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line: (386) 313-4911.

If anyone has any information about the incident involving Baby Cat, please contact the sheriff’s office at (386) 313-4911. You may remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 by calling Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-(888)-277-8477.

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19 Responses for “A 5-Year-Old Cat Is Shot in the Face, Another Disappears as Owner Fears Malice”

  1. Ken Dodge says:

    So, we have a first-degree misdemeanor and a third degree felony. I take comfort that we live, not in a society of laws, but in a society of lawYERS. I feel so protected. The owner is fortunate to have had three trouble-free years, remaining where she is does not seem to be an option. She should cut her losses and move.

  2. woodchuck says:

    I love animals,but keep them on YOUR property.To many people let there cats roam free in the neighborhood.

  3. Brianna says:

    I mean no ill will toward this owner whatsoever but why do people still keep their animals outdoors? Farm animals fine but these are domesticated animals that should be living under the protection of our homes. Whoever did this is a disgusting individual of course and there is no excuse for what happened. However, this should also serve as a reminder to keep your animals safe by keeping them indoors. My cat is always indoors with the exception of being within a screened porch if I’m out there or in the backyard. No issues with her health, playful/sweet as can be, and she’s almost 10 years old. Regardless, I really hope they find the scum that did this. Why take out your frustration or anger on innocent animals? Sickening.

  4. Joshua Walker says:

    @Woodchuck So just because an animal may be wandering it gives you the right to shoot a harmless cat in the face? And leave it to die?

  5. Anonymous says:

    If you own a cat keep it INSIDE! I see WAY to many cats killing and/or mutilating our native wildlife, not to mention the fact that when cats are outside they are susceptible to feline AIDS and feline Leukemia among others. Keeping a cat outside on the permanent basis is ABUSE.

    IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR A CAT, OR DON’T WANT TO KEEP ONE INDOORS THEN DON’T ADOPT ONE!! A life of suffering from diseases or animal abuse like the poor cat in this article did is WAAY worse than humane euthanasia.

  6. Sw says:

    Keep them inside where they are healthier and safer. In this town its a good idea for residents as well. Whats next shooting kids playing in the neighborhood. What a place…

  7. R says:

    Harming an animal is wrong, so also is letting your animals wander around other people’s property. Keep your animals contained! Many times my dogs go out in THEIR fenced back yard to find a cat with a collar that doesn’t belong there. Then I have to cleanup another persons cat poop. If you can’t be a responsible pet owner, don’t have a pet.

  8. Termites says:

    Okay, so keep your kids off my property too or on a leash or confined to your home. The people in this town…no wonder I see Trump signs all over the place.

  9. Christina says:

    Hi, I’m glad to know that you think you know so much about the situation and are deciding to be judge mental towards a devastated family who’s cat was murdered instead of shoe sympathy. We absolutely did not keep our cat outside, she was an indoor and outdoor cat. It would’ve been torture to her with her spirit to not allow her to go outside, as she would literally tear up our flooring by the front door if we did not let her out. It blows my mind the stance people take behind their little keyboards and they decide to point fingers. If I read this story and it happened to somebody else, my first thought would never be to ridicule the person or people who just violently lost their pet. What is wrong with you people? I have plenty of time for my cats, but these two cats LOVED being outside and exploring.

  10. Rachel says:

    There is no excuse for harming anything. Keep you weapons locked up in your home! Don’t use them on innocent animals! My indoor/outdoor cat has been missing since Sunday and its to crazy to think he may have been harmed by a crazy neighbor who has nothing better to do except use their weapons on innocent animals.

  11. Rachel says:

    Keep your weapons contained, that’s the law. Letting your cat roam free is not breaking any laws.

  12. CLS says:

    Cats are natural outdoors creatures. I keep my cat inside as best I can, but she darts outside so quickly when I open the door and usually once outside, especially near dark, she explores. During the day she usually comes back in quickly. It is not abuse for them to be outside. Perhaps for dogs…

  13. Geezer says:

    This is not unusual, you have some depraved inadequate-feeling individuals that like to inflict pain on defenseless people and creatures. This elevates them to a higher plane in their colossally stupid minds.
    The days of letting your pet roam are long over. Just like you wouldn’t leave your valuables unguarded,
    you should apply that same mindset with your pets.
    Keep them in your home, under your supervision.

    Do not trust your fellow man for anything. Human standards seem to be in a steep decline, and you have to accept this fact. This is why there’s locks, alarms, and firearms.

    I hope that somebody reports that pet-shooting sicko, and exposes him.
    Maybe a reward?

  14. Geezer says:

    This stuff happens everywhere. Read about the horse that some creep shot with a bow and arrow.
    They have a suspect in custody.

  15. DisgustedinPC says:

    We deal with neighbors cats on a daily basis. So sick of them. I have a dog and cat. I have privacy fence. My dog has her shots and license. My cat is tethered so he can not wander. These neighbors cats come and try to fight with him. They come right up to my sliding glass doors.

    I lost hundreds of dollars worth of flowers because these cats dug them up and pooped in my flower beds. I have to go by the rules, who do others not have to do the same?

  16. Beth Cash says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family and your sweet furr babies. Screw everyone else on here who has a judgemental opinion, this was a tragedy and again I am so very sorry. Praying for you during your difficult time, and I hope they catch whoever did this and they end up being locked up.

  17. Mari Molina says:

    What has the sheriff department and Flagler Animal Service done?

  18. suewho1010 says:

    With all the problems in the world going on today if cats pooping in your flower bed is your big complaint count yourself luck and quit your bitching. Really!!!!

  19. Fraudisreal says:

    This is disgusting and evil and hopefully whoever gets caught.

    But keep your pets indoors, cat especially are an invasive species and kill many native animals. Also they will live longer and have better health indoors.(And be safer) So keep indoors if you aren’t with them !

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