Criminal investigation dropped after fatal cat shooting

Salem, who had to be put to sleep on Friday, May 28, 2021, after being shot in the eye.

Salem, who had to be put to sleep on Friday, May 28, 2021, after being shot in the eye. - Credit: Michala Cooper

A criminal investigation into the culprit behind a fatal cat shooting has been dropped because of the expensive cost of removing the pellet.

Three-year-old Salem had to be put to sleep at Companion Care Longwater vets in Costessey on May 29, the day after being brought in by her devastated owner Michala Cooper, 42, from Folwell Road, Costessey.

The cat had been missing for several days and returned home with a badly damaged right eye, which turned out to be from a pellet shot from close range discovered by an X-ray.

Mrs Cooper was unable to afford the operation to remove the item from behind the eye which was required by police officers to identify which weapon was used and potentially identify the attacker.

She said: "I had insurance but that would not cover the removal. I did not want to spend over £1,000 on cutting Salem up when there might not be anything that could be done from it. It seemed nonsensical."

The support worker, who has four indoor cats, was disheartened the investigation could not continue but understood the limitations facing the police officers.

A Norfolk Police spokesperson confirmed the investigation had been dropped but added it would reopen if people came forward with new information.

They said: "Unfortunately due to the fact there is no suspect identification we have had to close the investigation due to all lines of enquiry being exhausted."

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Mrs Cooper, who has two children, also encouraged people to contact the police if they had any information about the shooting.

She said: "It feels like one of my kids has gone. Salem was irreplaceable. I miss her so much.

"I would say to any cat owner, be careful. To the person who did this - I hope they rot in a thousand hells."

The 42-year-old added she will not let her other four cats out of her sight, following the attack.

Salem, who did go outside but usually stayed close to home, was Mrs Cooper's first cat and was bought as a pet for her six-year-old son when he was just three.

The cat-lover has decided not get another feline after the trauma of losing her first pet.

Anyone with information on the attack should contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting reference 36/37163/21 for May 29, 2021.