Multiple feral cats have been shot with blow darts at a military base in Hawaii, animal welfare advocates said.
KAT Charities, an animal rescue group on the island of Oahu, said a female feline later named Katniss is recovering after being found brutally maimed early Thursday.
“What we know: There is a person or people shooting blow darts at stray cats around Schofield Barracks Army Base on Oahu,” the group said in a statement. “It is our understanding that a group of soldiers purchased blow dart guns while on a recent training to Indonesia and brought them home to Hawaii.”
The nonprofit group said “multiple cats” have been spotted near the base with darts sticking out of their bodies, including one successfully removed from Katniss’ neck.
KAT Charities posted gruesome photos of the cat’s injuries while denouncing the “senseless, horrendous” violence against innocent animals. A fundraiser set up by the group had eclipsed $1,500 as of Friday.
Dr. Karen Tyson, founder of KAT Charities, said two cats were found dismembered near a Popeyes restaurant on the military base. The targeted animals had their stomachs ripped open, she told KHON.
“While extremely graphic, we believe it is important to note the animals appeared to have been purposefully mutilated as opposed to accidentally hit by a car,” Tyson said.
A volunteer working with the group found Katniss, but KAT Charities believes they’ve yet to find all of the wounded cats near the base, KHON reported.
Army officials, meanwhile, said they’re looking into the accusations.
“US Army Garrison Hawaii was just made aware on Thursday and initiated an investigation into these reports,” Army officials told The Post Friday. “We cannot speculate about the details at this time while the investigation is ongoing.”
Any witnesses with “first-hand information” of the blow dart attacks should contact Schofield Barracks Military Police, the Army said.
“This type of behavior is not tolerated on the installation and is not in keeping with our Army values,” its statement concluded.
Army officials said any “identification of a specific unit or circumstances” regarding the targeted cats should be considered speculation.
But multiple reports have been filed with military police regarding the feline attacks, Tyson said, adding that she saw at least one cat with a blow dart embedded in its head.
Army personnel who abuse or kill animals could face fines, prison time or be dishonorably discharged, Hawaii News Now reported.
“It’s surprising that it’s our military,” KAT Charities Vice President Beth Doughty told the outlet. “It’s on our military bases. We expect more from them.”