A man was charged with animal cruelty Wednesday for shooting a cat twice in the face in New Mexico.

According to the court records, the cat, named Vespa, used to hang out at an Albuquerque body shop for the past few months. The staff started feeding the feline and eventually got attached to it. However, the owner of the shop, identified as Sean Stanford, wasn’t very happy with this and had also threatened to kill the cat. Last week, Stanford arrived at the shop with a gun and shot the feline twice in the face. A staff member immediately rushed the cat to a nearby animal hospital.

The veterinarians and the employee then alerted the police about the incident following which a case of extreme cruelty to animals and negligent use of a firearm was filed against the shop owner. Subsequently, an arrest warrant was issued against Stanford, who remained at large as of Thursday.

Meanwhile, the cat was undergoing treatment and was expected to make a full recovery. The cat underwent two surgeries and was expected to undergo another one soon.

Calling the incident “awful,” Albuquerque Animal Welfare veterinarian Kathryn Stutzman-Rodriguez said, “He’s a super friendly cat and someone shoots him -- that's like…you are going to make me cry.”

Investigations revealed the cat had run away from its owner almost two years ago. When contacted by the animal welfare employees, the owners said neither could they afford to pay the feline’s medical bills nor could they afford to look after it now. The cat was under the care of the city workers and was expected to be up for adoption in two weeks.

In this image, a cat lounges next to a window at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, California, Aug. 25, 2017. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images