An animal-welfare organization is worried that troops stationed at the Schofield Army Barracks could be linked to cats that have been found shot with blow darts and, in a couple of cases, mutilated.
“It is our understanding that a group of soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, purchased blow dart guns while on a recent training mission to Indonesia and brought them home to Hawaii,” KAT Charities founder Dr. Karen Tyson told KHON.
Aloha Affordable Veterinary Services confirmed to the TV station it had recently treated a cat for a dart wound to its neck. Tyson said she’s seen other felines with similar wounds and claimed a pair of cats were found disemboweled near a fast-food restaurant near the Army base. She said it was apparent the animals had been “purposefully mutilated” and not injured in an accident.
A garrison spokesperson told the Tribune News Service in a statement Thursday that the Army had heard of cats being abused and that an investigation was underway.
“This type of behavior is not tolerated on the installation and is not in keeping with our Army values,” the statement said.
According to Tyson, military police had been made aware of the issue.
Soldiers convicted of animal cruelty can be dishonorably discharged and face fines and incarceration. The Wahiawa-based unit at the center of the controversy calls itself “The Wolfhounds.”
The Korea Herald reported in late May that at least 10 feral cats had been killed near Osan Air Base in South Korea by U.S. service members. A TV station there reportedly broadcast what appears to be military personnel firing an air gun at a caged cat in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi province.
Air Force personnel reportedly said animals that were roaming onto the base, which includes aerial runways, are handled “according to the rules.”