Cat survives being shot in face twice with rifle

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KOAT/CNN) - Vespa is a happy cat now, but that wasn’t the case last week when police say Sean Stanford shot the feline twice in the face with a rifle.

“Super friendly cat and someone shoots it? I mean, that’s like, you are going to make me cry,” said Dr. Kathryn Stutzman-Rodriguez, one of the veterinarians who treated Vespa. “It’s so awful.”

Stanford owns the body shop where Vespa made friends with several of his employees.

For about three months, the cat came by. Those employees told police the owner didn't like the cat and threatened to kill it.

One employee said several weeks later Stanford came to the shop with a rifle and tried to make good on his promise.

“The real hero of this story brought him to us,” Stutzman-Rodriguez said.

That hero is one of Stanford’s employees. He found the cat and took it to a vet.

Vespa eventually ended up at the Albuquerque Eastside Animal Shelter where employees called police.

Stanford's now charged with extreme cruelty to animals, a felony. He has yet to be taken into custody.

Court records show authorities attempted to get a statement from Stanford but were not able to find him. A warrant for his arrest was issued Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Vespa is still being treated. He’s had two surgeries and will require at least one more.

“He does still have one bullet still in his [head] – right under here below his tongue area, sublingual area,” Stutzman-Rodriguez explained.

Despite all of the trauma, Vespa is still a happy cat and will be eligible for adoption in two weeks.

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