A 19-year-old Sarnia, Ont., man has been arrested and charged in the case of a cat that survived getting shot in the head 17 times.

The cat was named Joe after he was found on Feb. 2 in the Brights Grove area suffering from 17 pellet wounds to his head.

Sarnia Police Service detectives arrested the 19-year-old Sarnia man at his residence shortly after 6 p.m. ET Thursday.

His name hasn't been released.

Staff Sgt. Scott MacLean told CBC News police are in the process of executing more search warrants in relation to the animal cruelty charge.

"There's a good chance this party did not act alone," he said.

During a search of the arrested man's home, officers found Oxycodone pills and about 50 codeine pills, along with a small amount of marijuana.

The man, who is in custody awaiting a bail hearing, faces:

  • Two counts of animal cruelty.
  • Two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
  • One count of possession of a controlled substance.

The cat is recovering from surgery. Joe lost an eye and one pellet will remain lodged in his cheek.