Councilwoman's cat shot in Spring Grove
Spring Grove Councilwoman Kristyn Stouch said one of her family's cats, Porcha, has a long recovery ahead after being shot twice with a pellet gun in the borough.
One pellet embedded in Porcha's right rear leg, breaking her upper leg bone.
"It snapped right in half," Stouch said, adding a second BB pellet hit the Siamese in her midsection. "The vet didn't try to remove that pellet because it wasn't causing any issue."
Stouch said she and her husband have so far racked up $4,500 in veterinary bills — but that's not the important thing, she said.
"I just don't want (the shooter) to do this to any other animals," she told The York Dispatch. "Have some compassion. This poor little kitty is suffering right now and she didn't do anything to deserve it."
Stouch said she fears that next time, an animal could be killed.
Porcha is probably about 10 years old. She repeatedly showed up on the Stouch family's porch in early 2010, taking cover from two back-to-back snowstorms, the councilwoman said.
The shy cat ran any time Stouch tried to get near her, but the Stouches began putting out food for her so she had something to eat while taking shelter on their porch.
In fact, the family named her Porcha because initially, that's as close to the inside of a home as the cat would get, according to Stouch.
"That spring she started getting chubby, and we realized she was pregnant," Stouch said.
Porcha allowed the Stouch family to care for her and her eventual litter of six kittens.
"We found homes for all six kittens, and I took Porcha to the (York County) SPCA to get her fixed," Stouch said. "I didn't think she'd stay with us."
'Very independent': But the wary feline had found her home, too. She chooses to remain part of the Stouch family — as long as she can maintain some freedom, according to the councilwoman.
"She's very independent" and doesn't like to be inside when the weather is nice, although she's quite happy to stay inside during the winter, Stouch said.
"We love her," Stouch said. "She's part of our family."
Porcha is especially close with the Stouch family's greyhound, Naomi.
When the Stouches walk Naomi, Porcha follows behind her canine friend, Stouch said.
"It's hard for neighbors not to know who she is, because of her following along after Naomi," she said. "I just can't understand who would have done something like that."
Fellow neighbors in the Spring Forge development regularly greet Porcha, and one of them puts out food daily for her, Stouch said.
What X-rays showed: Stouch said she realized something was wrong with Porcha on Wednesday, July 11, and she believes the cat was shot sometime between 4 and 10 a.m. that day.
They brought Porcha inside and took her to a local veterinarian the next day, Stouch said, adding she never saw the pellet wounds or bleeding.
It was the local vet who spotted the pellet, took an X-ray and determined a pellet had broken Porcha's right rear leg, and that a second pellet had embedded itself in the cat's midsection, according to Stouch.
Stouch said she took Porcha to an orthopedic veterinarian in Towson, Maryland, on Friday, July 13, where Porcha underwent surgery.
"She has a plate in her leg now," Stouch said, and is facing a two-month recovery time.
Porcha has about 20 staples closing the incision in her leg, and Stouch said she hopes they can be removed at the cat's follow-up vet visit on July 26.
"But even then she's still going to be restricted," unable to jump up on anything or jump down from anywhere, Stouch said.
"When you think about it, Porcha was lucky," she said. "And we're lucky we still have her."
Stouch said she and her husband can't understand why someone wouldn't simply talk to them if they had a problem with Porcha.
She said they leave a litter box in their garage, which Porcha regularly uses when she's outside.
After Stouch posted about the shooting on Facebook, people began leaving comments, many assuming the shooting was done by teenage boys.
But Stouch — who has four grown sons in her blended family — said she's assuming nothing.
Southwestern Regional Police are investigating, she said.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call police at 717-225-1333, ext. 114. Or reach a Southwestern Regional officer by calling 911.
Stouch and her husband, Todd Stouch, previously worked for The York Dispatch.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.