A German animal welfare organization says up to 400,000 domestic cats are killed by hunters each year -- a number hunters do not dispute.
In Germany, hunters can shoot cats, dogs or any other animal that is a potential threat to wildlife as long as they are at least 220 yards from a "built up area," reported the Sunday Telegraph.
Nicole Hallek says she was walking her dogs and her cat in the fields behind her backyard in Augsburg, Germany, when a hunter no farther than 55 yards from her home shot and killed her cat Molly.
"The Federal Hunting Law only allows hunters to shoot pets that have gone feral and are living in the wild. The majority of hunters follow this rule responsibly," said a statement by the German Hunters' Association. "But one cannot forget that half a million pets are dumped every year in Germany alone. A large percentage of these are cats that go feral when they live outside and many wild animals fall victim to the ones that survive. Defending game from damage is a legal duty of the hunting community."