Update: Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell of Wanaka Police has advised the offender has received a pre-charge warning under Section 48 of the Arms Act 1983 and his suitability to continue to hold a firearms licence is being reviewed.
Original article (Posted: 11:29am Thursday 07 Jun, 2018)
A precious four-year-old Burmese cat named Arthur (pictured) went missing from his home near Albert Town just over five weeks ago, on April 30.
According to owners Johanna and Donald Vermeulen, Arthur was a very homely cat so it was quite unusual for him to go missing as usually he does not venture outside for long or at least not far from his home.
Arthur was wearing his GPS tracker which accurately identified him being at a neighbour’s property on Clan Mac Road. Another GPS reading 15 minutes later indicated that Arthur was at the main campground effluent dumping station, 6km away from the owners’ home.
Sadly, it has been confirmed Arthur was shot by a 60-year-old male, who uses his section in Clan Mac Road as a camping ground. Another neighbour heard a shot within 30m from the neighbour’s section at the time that Arthur’s tracker pinged and saw the man standing with his rifle in the same spot.
The male in question was recently interviewed by Police and confessed to shooting and killing the cat, but told Police that he thought it was a possum.
It is believed the cat was shot at 1:30pm.
The Vermeulens were informed by Police that Arthur’s body was disposed of by the 60-year-old man outside of Wanaka, and that his body was picked up by landfill the day after.
Donald and Johanna alleged the perpetrator lied many times over the four weeks, denying knowing or having any part in Arthur’s disappearance.
Donald and Johanna Vermeulen said, “We wanted closure, but just not like this.
“Continuous lies have been very upsetting and distressing for the family and extended family too. The neighbours and neighbours’ children have been affected too, not only because of the shooting of a family pet, but also the fact that a person in a built up residential area is capable of discharging a high powered rifle.
“This has been done with no consideration to surroundings or neighbours. It could have easily been resolved a lot quicker without the lies and without causing this much anxiety and ill feeling.”
RELATED: Help find Arthur Posted: 6:04pm Friday 04 May, 2018
Click to read today's Wanaka Sun
Enlarge screen by double-clicking on the front page
View all earlier editions of the Wanaka Sun here