PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. – For many, pets are like members of the family. But one woman in the Oak Grove area found out the hard way not everyone in her neighborhood agrees – after she discovered her 5-month-old kitten had been shot playing in her own front yard.

Fluffball Twinkle is a bright spot in owner Anna Fraley’s life. For five months, she’s opened her heart to the cat’s big eyes and tiny paws.  

“She’s a very playful cat,” Fraley said, “and she loves cuddles. Cuddles are her thing.”

But Sunday, Twinkle’s normal frolic in her front yard turned violent.

Fraley and her daughter had let the kitten out for only a moment after returning home from an errands run. Less than ten minutes later, they knew something was wrong.

“She said, ‘Mommy mommy, I hear Twinkle crying’,” Fraley recalls her daughter saying. 

In the span of only a few moments, Twinkle had been shot by someone in the area. The kitten miraculously survived with only a shattered leg and a new fear of the outdoors, but it’s still not clear who fired the shot – or why. 

Tim Walbert in Maumelle was shocked to hear of the blatant animal cruelty, something that happened only a few minutes away from him. 

“That’s really disturbing,” Walbert said while walking his own pet, chocolate lab Shadow. “As pet owners, that’s the last thing we want to think of.”

As an animal owner himself, he always keeps his pup close and couldn’t imagine a similar fate happening at his own home, especially in a neighborhood he trusts. 

But Fraley isn’t only concerned about her beloved cat. She says she’s now paranoid about her kids, who also play in the front yard. 

“What if it would have been one of my children?” Fraley asks whoever fired the shot. 

The shooting has been reported to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and Fraley’s hopeful authorities will find the shooter. For the time being, she’s holding Twinkle a bit closer and working on her long road to recovery.

She also adds Faulkner County SPCA has offered to foot Twinkle’s recovery bill, including the vet stays and surgeries it will take to get the cat back on all four feet.