Pet owner speaks after his cat was shot in North Phoenix

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- On Tuesday, FOX 10 reported that someone had been shooting at people's pets with a pellet gun in the Garfield neighborhood of Downtown Phoenix. Now, it appears it's happening in other Valley neighborhoods as well.

Jesus Espinoza, who lives near the I-17 and Cactus Road, said it was only two months ago when his family cat, seven-year-old Mufassa, was shot in the neighborhood. The first person to notice was Espinoza's wife.

"She was petting him, and then she looked and noticed there was a patch of hair missing, and when she looked further, she noticed a hole," said Espinoza. "About two days later, we noticed the hole got a little bit bigger, and now there's the smell of infection."

Veterinarians confirmed Mufassa was shot by a pellet gun and was suffering from an infection, as the bullet was still lodged in his hip. Mufassa was cleared to return home until last weekend when it was shot for a second time by a mystery pellet gun sniper in the neighborhood.

"The only reason we think it's a specific person is because of the neighbors that we're close to, and when they found out what happened, they said, 'Oh, I've actually seen him shooting toward animals,'" said Espinoza. "We set up cameras to hopefully catch him."

Faced with vet bills of more than $6,000, Espinoza said filing the two police reports just isn't enough. He reached out to the Arizona Humane Society, who has since stepped in with an investigation of their own.

The Espinozas said they just want justice for the neighborhood pets because Mufassa isn't just a piece of property, but a part of the family.

"That's our four-legged son, so we wouldn't just leave our kid without being treated, so we fork it down and we figured it out," said Espinoza.