GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police on Long Island are looking for the person who shot a cat, leaving it paralyzed.

On Thursday, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke to the animal’s owners and concerned community members in Glen Cove.

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“A harmless, harmless animal crying for help,” Michelle Perone said.

Perone heard the cries of a helpless cat outside her Taft Place home, after returning from a walk with her family on Tuesday evening.

She took the injured cat to her neighbor, a veterinarian.

(credit: Glen Cove Police Department)

“She told me the gruesome news, that it was shot twice by a gun. That alarmed me because it’s right near where my child plays basketball in our backyard. My daughter could have gotten hit by the bullet. I don’t know where it came from,” Perone said.

Nor did they know who the 8-pound cat belonged to — until the vet found a microchip, leading to owners.

They had been searching for the indoor/outdoor cat, Gracie, after she never came home Wednesday morning, like usual.

“Just terrible what they did. It’s not a person but it’s an animal and it’s part of the family. She loved it out here. When we walked the dogs with my son, she follows us. She comes with us and the neighborhood knows her as the cat Gracie,” owner DJ Hunnicutt said.

The Glen Cove Police Department is asking anyone with information to come forward so investigators can figure out who shot the helpless animal.

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“First off, it’s animal cruelty. And also, if you’re shooting a gun in a residential neighborhood, people are at risk. Who knows? One of those rounds could have went through a window, could have struck a pedestrian or homeowner,” Det. John Nagle said.

Police believe Gracie was shot Tuesday at around 7 p.m.

“They should be prosecuted fully. I have infants. I have two twins. They could have been hit by a bullet and killed,” Hunnicutt said.

One of the bullets was sitting on Gracie’s spine, so she was in the care of a vet specialist. Her family is sparing no expense.

“She took two bullets. We had to try and give her a shot at life,” Hunnicutt said.

Gracie is now out of surgery and stable, but suffered spinal cord damage. The family says she may not be able to walk again.

Meanwhile, the family is hoping police catch the shooter, to give the community a shot at peace.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 516-676-1002, or by emailing tips@glencovepd.org, or by using their Facebook page.

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The family has a GoFundMe to help cover Gracie’s medical bills. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Jenna DeAngelis