By Ryan Hill

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A big orange and white cat named Garfield is down one life after a brush with death roughly two weeks ago.

Front Street Animal Shelter’s Chief Animal Control Officer Jace Huggins said that the shelter strongly suspects that someone shot Garfield with the six-inch bolt from a hand-held crossbow.

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The lost cat was brought to Front Street Animal Shelter on January 30th. The person who brought the cat in thought there was a tick on the cat but, later discovered the spot was something metallic on Garfield’s skin.

When the shelter ran x-rays, it left them speechless.

“I think everybody’s jaw just kind of dropped,” Huggins said. “It became clear that there was a little crossbow bolt inside the cat’s abdomen.”

The cat was in surgery quickly to get the bolt removed.

“A crossbow is, you know in my opinion, above and beyond. Like that’s intentional. That person was trying to kill that animal,” Huggins said.

Huggins’ team then hit the pavement, putting fliers up and interviewing people in the area of Marysville Boulevard and Roanoke Avenue where Garfield was found. Animal Control officers were looking for information and to let neighbors know what happened.

Ultimately, they got a surprising and welcomed call.

“A friend of mine found a flyer in her mailbox and she brought it to me. And I called them up,” Loretta Smith, Garfield’s owner, said.

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“In doing that, we were actually able to locate the owner,” Huggins said.

Smith told CBS13 she’s owned Garfield for a year since he was abandoned and that he was an outdoor cat. When she first saw the flyer, she thought her cat had died.

Animal Control dropped off Garfield, who is on the mend, back at home with Loretta on Tuesday afternoon.

“He’s doing alright. He wants out but, I ain’t letting him out,” Smith said.

And, this owner has a message she wants to put out there.

“I hope they catch him and press charges against him,” Smith said. “Why do people have to be so cruel to animals? That’s what I’d like to know.”

Huggins said sometimes people will try to scare off cats or other animals with bb guns and other items. But, he doesn’t think this case should have gone this far.

“There were a lot of other things that could have been done to deal with a pesky cat, which is my assumption at this time. If it was just true intent of wanting to hurt an animal that is even more concerning,” Huggins said.

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This is an on-going investigation by Animal Control. The Chief Animal Control Officer is asking anyone with information about this case or knows anyone suspected of shooting the animal to email this address, jhuggins@cityofsacramento.org.