A Dickson County man said his neighbor shot and killed his family's pet cat with a BB gun, along with several other stray cats on Sunday. The incident has local animal advocates calling for police involvement and asking others to take responsible and humane steps to reduce the county's feral cat population.
Andy Jennette said he saw his neighbor pumping up a BB gun on Jennette's property Sunday evening. Minutes later, his son found the family's pet cat dead near their driveway.
"I go down and pick her up to bury her," Jennette said. "Then I go back to confront the guy and he kind of laughed and said 'Yeah, there’s two or three more around here too.'"
Jennette said his neighbor claimed he was trying to exterminate feral cats from the area.
"It's horrifying," said Vivienne Akhdary, the general manager of the Dickson County Humane Society. "We do have a terrible feral cat problem in this county. They’ve been around for years and years and allowed to go unchecked, but that's no excuse to kill an animal that's just trying to survive."
Akhdary said the Humane Society hopes to implement a program that will enable them to capture, spay or neuter, then release feral cats. But it will likely be at least a year before that program is launched.
Right now, the shelter is struggling to find homes for the more than 60 kittens already at the shelter and in foster care.
"I can’t take any more, I literally can’t take any more," she said. "And every shelter I know is in the same situation."
Akhdary said the best way people can help is to make sure their own pets are spayed or neutered.
Jennette and the Dickson County Human Society have reported the BB gun incident to the Dickson County Sheriff's Office.