02/06/2014 04:00 EST | Updated 04/07/2014 05:59 EDT

Sarnia, Ont., police join hunt for person who shot cat 17 times with pellet gun

SARNIA, Ont. - Police are now involved in the investigation of a southwestern Ontario animal cruelty case in which a cat was shot 17 times in the head with a pellet gun.

Constable Les Jones says Sarnia police have teamed up with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to run a joint investigation.

Jones says anyone with information is urged to contact the Sarnia and District Humane Society, Crime Stoppers or Sarnia police.

He says a cash reward — over and above what's typically offered through Crime Stoppers — is being offered by members of the public for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect or suspects.

The humane society says the cat is stable despite losing an eye and continues to progress well under the care of veterinarians.

It is hoped the cat named "Joe" will be strong enough by early next week to undergo surgery to remove some or all of the 17 pellets lodged in his head.

The injured cat was spotted last Sunday afternoon in Bright's Grove, a community just east of Sarnia, by a man on his way home from church. (BlackburnNews.com)