TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) – A midtown family says their neighbor shot and killed their cat.
The family pet was shot over the weekend in a neighborhood near 41st and Lewis.
Will Gray, the cat's owner, says they have let the cat out into the backyard less than 10 times.
When they didn't see her after a few minutes, they began calling her, when they heard the gunshot.
"As we peered over the fence we saw our little six-pound baby dead along the fence line," Gray said, "I really find it hard to believe that he did not hear us yelling for her."
The family took Lucy, the cat, in as a kitten.
"The relationship you have with your animals is like the relationship you have with your kids," Gray said.
Gray has a newborn son, a baby on the way, and a dog.
Now, they don't feel comfortable in their own backyard.
"It completely violates our life," Gray said.
"I didn’t think that she was in any danger, and it wasn’t until I peered over and saw blood coming out of her that it hit me,” Gray described Monday. “And even in that moment, I still wasn’t clear what had happened until we saw the neighbor, and he explained that he shot the cat."
The family said the neighbor told them the cat was on his property and claimed he could legally shoot her under Oklahoma law.
Tulsa Animal Welfare, however, said the neighbor might be facing an animal cruelty charge based on these circumstances.
"It was an unempathetic explanation and more of an argument around guns," Gray said.
Police say the weapon used was a pellet gun, but Gray said he saw it had a scope.
TAW is investigating, and its findings, including an autopsy, will be sent to the District Attorney's Office for review.
If the DA chooses to press charges, the neighbor will be charged with a felony punishable with up to five years or $5,000.
It's unclear if there will be charges for firing the weapon within the city limits.
Pete Theriot, the Senior Animal Control Investigator at TAW, said that only the animal cruelty charges would be TAW's responsibility.
"I can't explain I just know that when we do it we have to submit to the DA because we don't have the power of arrest."
If you feel like you're in danger because of an animal, you have options, Theriot said. Even on the weekends, you can call the police and TAW has someone on call.
"Call animal control, or call your wildlife, call the game warden if you have this issue. If you think you have a bobcat," Theriot said, "Don't try to confront it yourself."
However, Gray doesn't believe his neighbor was fearful of his life from inside his midtown home.
"I don't think that he really feared for his life given that he was inside of his house when he saw our animal," Gray said.