Thurston County Man Accused of Shooting Cat With Crossbow for Pooping in His Yard


The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 33-year-old man Wednesday after he allegedly shot a cat with a crossbow. A veterinarian told deputies that the cat is lucky to be alive, but will survive.

Karl W. Shanabarger reportedly told deputies that he shot the cat because it had been defecating in his yard. He also admitted to shooting a second cat, according to court documents.

Shanabarger was arrested on suspicion of first-degree animal cruelty, and appeared Thursday before Thurston County Superior Court Commissioner Nathan Kortokrax. The commissioner found probable cause for the proposed charge, and set bail at $2,500.

Deputy Prosecutor Christen Peters said that the cat, Tom Tom, was shot in his left front shoulder. The arrow shattered the cat’s shoulder, and his leg may need to be amputated.

Peters said the allegations not only pose a danger to animals, but to the humans that live in Shanaberger’s neighborhood, too.

Public Defender Eric Pilon said that the allegations may stem from mental health issues. He added that Shanabarger has cooperated with law enforcement.

Kortokrax ordered that Shanabarger meet with a designated mental health professional before his release.

Deputies responded to the 8900 block of Skokomish Way Northeast, east of Lacey, at about 7:45 p.m. Wednesday after a woman called 911 and reported that her cat had been shot with an arrow.

The owners reported that they let the cat outside that afternoon. At about 7:30 p.m., they heard the cat crying at the door. A broken arrow was protruding from his leg, according to court documents. The arrow appeared to be from a crossbow.

One of the cat’s owners told deputies that he had seen a neighbor several months ago holding a crossbow in his yard. He appeared to be trying to shoot a raccoon.

Deputies contacted Shanabarger, who allegedly told them, “Yeah, I shot the cat. It was me.” When a deputy asked him why, Shanabarger said the cat had been pooping in his yard, according to court documents. He said he thought the cat was a stray.

He added that he had previously shot another cat. The cat had a litter of kittens in his yard, so he went to Cabela’s and purchased a crossbow, Shanabarger told deputies.

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