By Mauricio Maldonado

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Hialeah man is facing animal cruelty charges after police said he took aim and shot at a neighbor’s cat with a pellet rifle, exclaiming to his wife, “I got him” afterward.

Police said Christian Valero, 41, was seen by a neighbor taking careful aim at a cat with a pellet rifle and pressing the trigger.

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Hialeah police units responded to the area of east 4th Avenue and East 12 Street on August 8th at about 11:30 p.m. regarding a disturbance.

Upon arrival, police said the cat’s owner and a witness told police that they were walking in front of Valero’s home when they heard a loud band and observed Valero with a pellet rifle shooting at the cat.

The cat had been sitting at the top of a concrete pillar directly across from Valero’s residence when the shooting happened, according to the arrest report.

The victim and witness told police they heard Valero saying to his wife, “I got him,” afterward.

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The cat’s owner and victim rushed to the cat and noticed large gunshot wounds to the upper neck and shoulder area and that it was bleeding profusely.

The cat was then rushed to a 24-hour emergency animal clinic where the feline was treated for his wounds.

Both, the cat’s owner and witness provided police with a sworn statement as to what happened and were able to identify Valero as the accused shooter.

Valero was then located and arrested. Valero, according to the arrest report, admitted to the incident.

Valero faces a charge of cruelty to animals with intent to harm or kill.

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No word on whether Valero’s wife may have been an accomplice in the shooting.

Mauricio Maldonado