BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (WLBT) - According to his owner Walter Robinson, Snowball is harmless.
“Snowball is this little pussycat that wouldn’t hurt a flea," said Robinson. "How could anybody... I still don’t believe it. I guess there’s a lot of sick people out there.”
About a month ago, Snowball came home severely injured. She had been shot in the hip.
“She came running toward me pretty fast," he said. "When she got closer I could tell that she was dragging one leg.”
The vet said she had been shot with a 22 caliber bullet.
“Her leg was shattered. But he thinks maybe she’s going to be okay,” Robinson said.
One of the hardest parts of the situation for the family is that Snowball wants to go outside, but she can’t, even when she’s completely healed.
“My wife said she’s going to have to stay inside now, and we’ve had inside cats before and they did fine," Robinson said. "But I don’t know how we’re going to get Snowball-- She wants outside.”
Police Chief Kenny Collins said Snowball isn't the only case he's heard of.
“Right after Christmas when we started receiving those calls," Collins said. "We’ve been trying to work with the parents and stuff to get their kids under control, because these weapons are dangerous.”
Sherman is a dog from the same neighborhood who had just become the star of his own Instagram page, which can be found under the handle @shermdoingthings.
His owner, Michelle Fitzsimmons, said her family was out of town when he was shot in the leg. Doctors say he may always walk with a limp.
Collins confirmed that there had also been cases of children shooting pellet guns at cars or homes, and even at joggers. He reminded parents as well that the guns look so real that it’s an incredibly dangerous situation.
“I tell people all the time, if you have one of these in your hand and the police roll up on you, how can he or she tell that it is a pellet gun?” he said. “And this is really a dangerous time to be playing with toys like this or weapons like this, to me, you know, how can you say is it real, or is it, you know?”
There have been cases nationally in which children have been shot for pointing realistic-looking pellet guns at police.
Collins said he really needs parents to watch their children and maybe even set up designated times to allow the children to shoot their guns under supervision.
Alderwoman at Large Karen Sullivan issued this statement: “I’m hoping that parents will use these incidences of animal cruelty as a teachable moment to heighten their children’s awareness of just how severe their acts might turn out. In Brookhaven we want to protect both our children and our pets.”