Little help for owner of pet injured in shooting on island
HOLIDAY ISLAND -- "We have an armed gunman on Holiday Island shooting pets," wrote a distraught property owner in an email to the newspaper over the weekend. "I believe this is a dangerous situation that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. We can't have low life scumbags taking pot shots off their decks at pets or any other animal with impunity. Bullets are known to find unintended targets with tragic results."
The property owner, John Inglehart, who lives at 55 Oak Point Drive, in a section of condominiums on the island proper, came to the Monday meeting of the Board of Commissioners to see if anything could be done to protect pets and people from others shooting guns in Holiday Island.
He said that Friday morning, Aug. 22, his wife let his snowshoe cat, Chip, out at 8 a.m. At 9 a.m. the cat returned to his porch, crying. Its leg had been shattered by a bullet from a .22 caliber gun. The bullet entered the cat's upper thigh and traveled down its leg, breaking its femur just above the knee. The cat was taken to a vet in Cassville, Mo., where Inglehart later reported there were five pins put in his cat's leg, and it will have to be kept in a cage or carrier and kept from jumping for four to six weeks.
Inglehart told the board he called the county sheriff's office to report the shooting and a Sgt. Contreras came out and spoke with him.
"[He] told us they will investigate, but since Holiday Island is not an incorporated city, they are subject to county laws, which have no ordinances against shooting animals on Holiday Island, and any ordinances passed by HISID are unenforceable," Inglehart wrote in his email.
Inglehart also told the board Contreras said he would pass on the incident to the Holiday Island deputy, Jerry Williams, to contact Inglehart.
He suggested the district look to the legislature to make a suburban improvement district "like a city so we can pass laws [that are enforceable] -- or become a city."
Justice of the Peace and former deputy Jack Deaton said there is a state law that "you can't discharge a firearm within 150 to 200 feet of a structure. It's not a county law."
Commissioners discussed the possibility of researching whether Holiday Island can legally be declared a "sanctuary" to prevent hunting and shooting.
Several years ago, the Carroll County Quorum Court passed an ordinance regarding vicious dog bites, but opted not to fund an animal control officer or kennel to enforce it.
"If a dog attacks somebody, we can have the owner quarantine the dog and be responsible for any injuries, Sheriff Bob Grudek said by phone Monday.
As for animals being harmed by humans?
"There's not much protection animals have in Carroll County," Grudek said. "The cities can pass an ordinance."
He said he would bring up the issue at a staff meeting Tuesday morning.
"I'll see if anyone can think of any way we can possibly get involved with enforcing this," the sheriff said, "but without knowing who did this or a witness, it would be very difficult. As far as someone hearing a person discharging a gun, if they saw somebody doing that, it would be nice if they would call 911 and let us know that. Any time you're discharging a gun in a community, there's always a danger of ricochet. When you shoot a gun into the woods, how do you know you won't hit someone?"