A South Jersey feline is lucky to be alive after being shot in the eye with a dart.
The dart, which was about the size of a pen and had several sharp edges, was lodged so far into the cat's head, its point was protruding out of the back of her neck.
Valentine was taken by animal control officers to the Delaware Valley Veterinary Hospital where doctors worked to remove the object.
"She was purring and just had a will to live so I did not feel the need to put her to sleep and I decided I'd do whatever it took to save her," Valentine's vet Dr. Jessica Morrissey said.
Since that first procedure, the kitty has undergone multiple surgeries to fix the damage done by the dart.
"We removed the dart and this past Friday we did some more reconstruction on her and she's doing beautifully," Dr. Morrissey said.
Valentine has lost vision in her left eye, which had to be stitched shut, but she is expected to make a full recovery.
Morrissey says the cat is in foster care and should be able to be adopted in the future. She credits animal control, the Gloucester County Animal Shelter and rescue organization Joa's Arc with helping to pay for treatment.
As for finding the person who injured the cat, the NJSPCA is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NJSPCA at 800.582.5979