Kitten in Florida healing after being struck in face with arrow

Kitten in Florida healing after being struck in face with arrow
A kitten found in Tampa, Florida, had a arrow lodged in its head. Veterinarians believe a miniature crossbow was used to shoot the 6-inch arrow. (Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. — A 12-week-old feral kitten in west-central Florida is expected to survive after she was shot in the face with a 6-inch plastic arrow.

The cat, a Siamese mix, was found Wednesday in Tampa with the arrow lodged in her head, WTVT reported.

“It took us maybe about an hour, maybe an hour and a half to get all the things repaired,” veterinarian Ronald Hamilton told the television station.

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Based on the kitten’s wounds, Hamilton said the arrow had been lodged in the animal for nearly a week. It pierced the kitten’s sinus cavity, the roof of her mouth, tongue, and was sticking out of her neck, WTVT reported.

Hamilton believes the arrow was launched from a mini-crossbow, and that the attack was deliberate.

“The dart managed to miss everything vital,” Hamilton told the television station. “It didn’t hit the major jugular here, it missed the esophagus as well which is phenomenal, and it doesn’t seem like there is any nerve damage. So this kitty cat is extremely, extremely lucky, extremely lucky.”

The kitten, nicknamed Maid Marian, was having trouble swallowing and was dehydrated when brought to the vet.

“She was used as target practice. It’s upsetting," Jennifer Tate, a volunteer with St. Francis Society Animal Rescue, told WTVT. “I don’t know how people can do that to an innocent animal.”

Hillsborough County Animal Control is searching for the person who shot the kitten. If caught, they could face felony animal cruelty charges.

“We would love information leading to finding the person that did this so we can stop this person from doing it again,” Tate told WTVT.