In her work with the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society, Wendy Palmer has dealt with all sorts of injured animals. But that didn’t prepare her for what she saw on the afternoon of Oct. 22. After getting a call from the police department in Greeneville, Tennessee, about an injured cat, Palmer drove to the area “and […]

By kbender1271
Updated November 06, 2015 10:29 PM
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In her work with the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society, Wendy Palmer has dealt with all sorts of injured animals. But that didn’t prepare her for what she saw on the afternoon of Oct. 22.

After getting a call from the police department in Greeneville, Tennessee, about an injured cat, Palmer drove to the area “and was just horrified,” she says. A cat had been shot through his torso with a bow and arrow and was walking around the neighborhood, with the arrow sticking out of both sides of his body.

“He was very scared and was trying to run away, hissing and howling,” she tells PEOPLE. “His pupils were dilating, so I’m thinking he was going into shock at the same time.”

After securing him in a net, Palmer drove straight to the nearest animal hospital. Although it was during her lunch hour, veterinarian Dr. Stacia Cook “dropped everything and came rushing back,” Palmer says.

The situation was dire. Any deviation of the arrow to the left or right would likely have killed the cat. And even after surgery to remove the arrow, his prognosis was 50/50.

But the next morning, “I got a call from the animal hospital,” Palmer says. “The receptionist said he was sitting up looking up at her, purring and wanting to be pet.”

“The next step would be if he’d eat or drink,” she adds. “After being loved on, he drank water.”

Because the cat was found on East Milligan Street, the Humane Society staffers named him Miracle Milligan.

“He’s a character, and he’s very inquisitive,” Palmer says of Milligan. “He has this look about him that’s very noble.”

Milligan, who will be available for adoption soon, should have no problem finding an owner, Palmer says: “He’s gone from being homeless to everybody wanting him.”

He also has supporters who want to find the person who shot him. PETA is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction, while other groups and individuals have added another $750 to the reward. (Anyone wanting to contribute to his medical expenses can do so at here.)

“This was not a hunting accident,” Palmer says. “He was shot at close range, face to face, head on. What could the cat possibly have been doing for this to take place? There’s something seriously wrong with the person that did this. There’s such a lack of compassion and flawed character.”

A detective on the case has been going door to door in the neighborhood “and they have a few leads,” she adds. “We’ve still got our fingers crossed. I think it will come out.”

As for Miracle Milligan’s future, Palmer says they’re looking for “a special family” to adopt him.

“He’s very friendly; he just wants someone to pet him,” she says. “I’m hoping we find a little old lady who sits and loves on him all day. He’d love that.”