10Listens: Deputies investigating reports of cat shot by arrow

The Knox County Sheriff's office is investigating a report of a family cat shot with an arrow in northeast Knox County, which would make at least the third cat shot in the area since February.

The Knox County Sheriff's office is investigating a report of a cat shot by an arrow in northeast Knox County.

Deputies responded to the call Sunday morning on the 2200 block of Shipetown Road.

Deputies said the cat is still alive, but 10News discovered it's only the latest of at least three cat shootings in northeast Knox County in the last two months.

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Kara Disbrow serves as president of Feral Feline Friends of East Tennessee, a non-profit caring for feral cats in northeast Knox County. She said earlier this month, a woman contacted her after finding an injured cat limping near a feral colony.

"[A bullet] had hit his femur, and just shattered it. The top third of the bone was irreparable," Disbrow explained.

The cat, named Denzel, now lives with just three legs after a recent amputation. Disbrow has been caring for him at her home ever since he was found limping near a feral cat colony.

"It's just heartbreaking. Obviously this cat is a sweetheart. Why would anyone want to hurt this cat?" she said.

Deputies responded to another home on Old Rutledge Pike in early February after a Knox County man reported his cat, named J.R., had been shot by a either a pellet or a BB-gun.

"It's very frightening to think that I live just a few miles from all of these incidents,” said Disbrow. “Whether it's one person or three different people who are this sick, it’s scary."

10News reached out to the Knox County Sheriff's Office. Deputies said the department’s animal control staff had not seen a prevalence of cat shootings in the area.

Still, with at least three reports nearby, Disbrow is remaining vigilant.

"If any animal is a problem, rather than shooting it or injuring it, call animal control," she urged.

In Knox County, it is illegal to allow cats to roam outside. Experts advise spaying and neutering pets to help prevent them from roaming if they do happen to escape the home.