A few months ago, a couple of teenagers in the town of Battle Ground, Washington(near Brush Prairie(which doesn't help) but close to Vancouver, Washington, which might help) were arrested for shooting some cats. Somewhere between 50 and 100 of them to be somewhat more precise. Originally, there were plans to try them as adults, but cooler heads prevailed, and for now they have been placed under house arrest, pending some actual time in a juvenile detention center.
There is nothing in the article to indicate that these kids were picking off family pets. In fact, the article from June states that 'Officials and animal advocates in southwest Washington weren't previously aware of violence targeted at cats in the area', although the article then contradicts itself, closing with a quote from the Battle Ground Police saying this could close 5 cat shooting cases in recent months. This probably means that these kids were mostly directing their efforts to a quite out of control feral/stray cat population.
I am a self-admitted 'cat person'. I like cats more than dogs...much easier to take care of, and at heart, I am lazy. I have 100% zero problems with a permanent solution to the feral cat population. I think it is a much better solution than the 'trap them, neuter them, and let them back out again' crowd pushes...much less expensive. IF it is done safely.
One of my coworkers who lives in a more rural section of the Tri-Cities has a cat problem. He recently acquired an internally suppressed Ruger Mk II just to handle this specific situation(well, any excuse to get a new gun is a good one). He knows the cats of his neighbors, and pretty much has open season on any unrecognized cats, with a good backstop hill behind his house.
These kids were driving around in a Ford Explorer, 'Road Hunting'. That's what finally got them caught, was rolling through a neighborhood in their Explorer and pulling a 'drive by'. 100% not cool. If I can't road hunt with a loaded rifle during deer season, they can't either. Yup...it really comes down to jealousy for me. Battle Ground is kind of your last stop on the southern side of the Mount Saint Helen's wilderness area. As long as these guys weren't picking off fluffy in front of the kids in a front yards, I have no problem with them shooting 1000 feral cats. They weren't injuring them with BB Guns, or using them for Dark Masses...they were bored rural kids, and I'm glad they decided not to try them as adults. A 2nd chance is warranted here.
Clean up your brass, dispose of the carcasses, and don't carry loaded rifles and shoot in NEIGHBORHOODS from moving cars. If they did nail any family pets, slap their wrists...have them apologize to any little kids whose cats they killed...having to deal with a house full of crying kids SHOULD get through to them. Make sure they understand what safety rules they were violating, and them sentence them to spend 6 months in a stand over a couple of open cans of Friskies...direct their talents and interest to GOOD. IF they swing through a 2nd neighborhood, and prove they didn't learn THAT lesson...then lock them up and throw away the key.