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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Nine-Week-Old Kitten Nicknamed Archer Recovering After Being Shot With Crossbow Near Tampa

A nine-week old kitten nicknamed Archer was seriously injured on August 17th when he was shot with a bolt fired from a crossbow in the Tampa suburb of Tarpon Springs. The twelve-inch metal and plastic arrow missed his tiny heart by centimeters but broke one of his ribs, punctured a lung, and pierced his liver.

Luckily for the one-pound, black and white male kitten, he was discovered the following morning by Kathy Powers who operates Tropic Sign and Shirts at 720 Wesley Avenue. Powers, who has been feeding Archer since his birth, promptly rushed him to Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists in Largo where surgeon Matt Oakes removed the arrow. He sutured the lung back together and the liver is expected to heal on its own.

Archer, now recovering from surgery (See Photo), is once again eating and drinking. He also has a home waiting for him once he leaves the vet. Powers, who also feeds eight to ten other cats who live near her store, has announced plans to adopt him. "It's a miracle he lived, considering the size of that dart, it's a miracle. He's got a really strong will to live," she said.

On Friday, August 19th, nineteen year old Stephen H. Cockerill of Palm Harbor was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after two of his teenage buddies ratted him out to the Tarpon Springs Police. He was released later that day from the Pinellas County Jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

According to reports in the St. Petersburg Times, Cockerill also shot at a second cat but, fortunately, missed. Built like a bull with a ruddy-complexioned face, short brown hair, and a goatee, Cockerill certainly looks like a prototypical Southern redneck.

No trial date has been announced and when his case does come before a judge he will most likely get off with a fine. The lives and safety of animals do not count for much in the eyes of the law although the petit fait that more than five-hundred people telephoned the authorities offering their assistance with the investigation demonstrates that a sizable percentage of the public at large cares deeply about animals. More importantly, it sends a clear message to all cat abusers in the Tampa area that attacking kittens with crossbows will not be tolerated.