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Two years ago, Lisa Vizza and her dog wandered across two newborn kittens in the woods near her home on Red Hill Road in Elverson. Being a lover of animals, and seeing that the pair was not going to make it long, she took them into her care. She nursed them back to health, and had them neutered and given their shots. Naturally, she named them as well – two brothers, Giovanni and Marco. Vizza was looking forward to living with and loving these cats all their lives, and so she did, but Giovanni and Marco’s lives where tragically short.
One-and-a-half years ago, three days after Thanksgiving, Vizza found Macro’s body near the edge of her property line. He had been shot, and died from the wound. Vizza was devastated. She contacted the police and reported the incident. Marco – like her brother Giovanni – wore a bright purple collar which served as an identifier that he was not a wild cat.
The day after thanksgiving, Vizza had Marco cremated, and she was certain that whoever had fired that shot must have done so by mistake – thinking Marco was something that he was not.
To Vizza’s horror, she would relive the experience 18 months later. On the night on June 16, 2012, at about 11:30 in the evening, she was in her home when she heard a noise which she believed to be a gunshot. The next day, at close to 10 a.m., she found Giovanni’s body lying twenty-two feet from the exact spot where Marco had been found. Like his brother before him, Giovanni had been shot, and died from the wound. Vizza contacted the police, and also requested than an autopsy be performed on Giovanni.
“The veterinarian believes that Giovanni dropped quickly after he was shot, and that he was definitely on my property when he died,” she said.
Although is cannot be proven, Vizza suspects that the same type of small caliber round was used to kill both Marco and Giovanni. She had closely examined both cats and found the characteristics of the wounds to be nearly identical.
“It sickens me that this has happened. Giovanni was an awesome cat. The police have told me that they are seriously pursuing this and looking to prosecute,” she said, “it is a Misdemeanor I crime and punishable with jail time. The police are still interviewing people, but we are hoping that someone in the community with information will come forward with information.”
Vizza said that she has lived in her home at 1504 Red Hill Road for 11 years, and that the there are four other residences close by which share an area where Macro, Giovanni, and other cats would pass through. In speaking with some of her neighbors she heard of no other incidents of animals being shot, but she is concerned that whoever shot Giovanni - whether or not they are the person who shot Marco - may harm other animals in the area.
“A person out at 11 p.m. at night, with a gun and without a regard for life, who knows what could happen. I have a dog and horses and I do not want anything to happen to them.”
Vizza is offering a cash reward for anyone with information which leads to a conviction for the killing of Giovanni. Anyone with information is encouraged to come forward by contacting the Caernarvon Township Police Department at 610-286-1012.