Jacksonville Beach family's cat found shot in face

A Jacksonville Beach family's cat is fighting to survive.

The cat was shot in the face and now the family is worried about other pets and people in the neighborhood.

Eddie King said his family’s cat, Rusty, now has stitches lining his neck and the side of his cheek. The cat was found collapsed in the backyard.

“I came home and started looking at him, thinking dog attack or something,” King said.

STORY: California law requires pet stores to only have shelter animals for adoption

STORY: Cat food recall: Specific lots of 9Lives wet, canned cat food recalled

STORY: Cat mistakenly shipped across Canada reunited with family after long journey

The family immediately brought the cat to the veterinarian’s office.

“They said he had been shot,” King said.

X-rays showed that pellet fragments are still in Rusty’s neck and face.

“He has 14 pellets in his neck and head and we can’t remove them,” King said.

King said the veterinarian told the family Rusty might not make it.

“It’s pretty sick, pretty morbid for them to discharge a firearm in a neighborhood let alone to be able to hurt somebody’s animal,” King said.

Rusty was a rescue nearly three years ago. King said the cat loves to be outside around the neighborhood, and that’s where the family thinks was shot on purpose since he was shot in his face.

Now, the family wants others in the area to be aware.

“It’s inhumane to hurt an animal. What scares me more is any child could have been outside playing and could have been hit,” King said.

King said the family filed a report with police.