NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- A family from Long Island is begging for the community's help in finding the person who shot their beloved cat.
Owner Margaret Oliva said they let their 11-year-old cat Stella out early in the morning on September 1, but she didn't return that night -- something the family says was very unusual for her.
"For 12 years we had her, and never had any, any incident of any kind," Oliva said.
They spent the entire weekend searching for her, and on Sunday morning, they found her whimpering under a bush in distress.
Stella was rushed to an emergency veterinarian, where the family learned she had been shot twice.
Stella, known for her feisty personality, drinking from the sink, and chomping on corn, was no match for her wounds.
"We waited the whole day," Oliva said. "It was touch and go, touch and go, until finally she passed."
Stella died that day from her injuries.
"The cat was shot twice," Nassau SPCA Detective Matt Roper said. "They found two projectiles located in the cat, one in his thoracic region in his lungs, and one in one of his limbs."
Now, the family wants answers.
"We lost something very precious to us," Oliva said. "There's no words for that. When my husband passed, she got me through it. She was my little angel."
The Nassau County SPCA is helping the family spread the word and offering a $6,000 reward for any information that could lead to an arrest.
"School just started," Roper said. "This could be a high powered pellet gun. This could be something that could be shot a couple of houses length, a couple of yards in length."
Anyone with information is encouraged to call 516-THE-SPCA.
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