For the third time in recent weeks, Loudoun County Animal Services is investigating the shooting of a cat, this time on Tavernsprings Court in Ashburn.
The cat, shot between 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, is currently undergoing treatment for its injuries.
This is the third such incident in the county in the last month. The first shooting took place in early April in Hamilton and the second occurred April 24 in Sterling.
Officers are currently investigating all three incidents, which occurred close to the respective owners’ homes and during daylight hours, the county said in a news release.
The Department of Animal Services asks anyone with information regarding these crimes to call 703-777-0406. All personal contact information can remain anonymous.
There is currently no law in Loudoun County prohibiting cats from roaming. However, given these incidents, the county recommends residents keep cats inside when possible and monitor them closely when outside.
If property owners are concerned about stray cats on their property, they are encouraged to call the department at 703-777-0406 for advice on management.
Under state law, anyone who “willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain to a dog or cat and causes serious bodily injury” can be charged with a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
Serious bodily injury is defined as injury that involves substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty as confirmed by a licensed veterinarian.
Any person convicted of violating this section may be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals.