Cat, hit by car, survives shooting

Big Bob

Scott Swan/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - A cat hit by a car, shot and left for dead has undergone a leg amputation and could be ready for adoption in time for the holidays.

The first thing you notice about Big Bob is that he looks different. He's missing a tail and a leg. Big Bob used to live in a colony with other wild cats. A cat advocacy group, IndyFeral, noticed Big Bob was limping and brought him to the Humane Society of Indianapolis.

"This is a cat with many, many special needs. Run over by a car, we found Bob had been shot, we also found that Bob was FIV positive," said John Aleshire, CEO of the Humane Society of Indianapolis.

X-rays revealed a broken ankle and gunshot wounds.

"We found evidence that he had been shot and hit by a car because his hurt ankle was fractured," said Dr. Kristi Herr.

Veternarian technician Amy Baird looks at the X-ray and describes what doctors found.

"You can see little pieces of metal where a bullet went in. There's little pieces of metal and there's a little piece of metal up near his spine," said Baird.

 Big Bob underwent surgery.

"We knew from looking at the leg, the leg was too badly injured that we couldn't save it. So, he had a recent leg amputation," said Dr. Kristi Herr.

Big Bob is now recovering. Cats who live in similar feral colonies represent a growing problem in the city. It is estimated 178,000 stray and feral cats live in Indianapolis. Many are abandoned by owners. Some are rescued by IndyFeral, which practices "trap, neuter, release." That means the animals are released back into the neighborhood after being spayed or neutered. Sometimes volunteers feed a feral cat colony.

"The core animals that we try to help are ferals, that traditionally aren't adoption candidates. But so many cats are abandoned on the streets at a crisis level. Those friendly cats show up at a colony and we're able to remove those cats and get them into a shelter and get them re-homed and get them in a home where they belong," said IndyFeral's director Lisa Tudor.

That is what workers hope will happen to Big Bob.

"He's been a very good boy. He's always been in good spirits. He's been friendly. He's been easy to work with. Once he's all healed up, he's going to be just like a normal kitty. He's just going to look a little different as he moves," said Dr. Herr.

"Miracles happen all the time from injured animals to animals that are ill to animals with special problems. Bob is certainly dramatic, but certainly not unique," says Aleshire.

How you can help

The locally based, independent non-profit Humane Society of Indianapolis relies on charitable contributions from individual donors for the vast majority of its funding, and invests $600 to $800 in the average animal's care. However, Big Bob's surgery and recovery will far exceed that cost. Donations to assist with Big Bob's care can be made in person at the shelter, 7929 N. Michigan Rd., online at, or by calling 317-872-5650 extension 125. The shelter doesn't put animals down because of space or time and will make Big Bob available for adoption after he recovers.