Animal cruelty charges laid in the case of Joe the cat, who was found seriously injured after being shot in the head with a pellet gun, were withdrawn in a Sarnia court Monday.

Christopher Hammond of Sarnia had been facing charges of causing damage or injury to an animal and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, as well as drug possession charges.

A second Sarnia man also facing two animal cruelty charges had his charges dropped following a preliminary inquiry at an earlier date.

In Feb. 2014, Joe the cat was discovered by a good Samaritan at the side of the road in Brights Grove.

He had been shot in the head with a pellet gun 17 times several days before and had to undergo surgery to remove the pellets.

Sarnia and District Humane Society officials said at the time that he had been confined by someone or put in a device he couldn't get escape before being shot.

Despite also being severely dehydrated and malnourished, he has since recovered, but did lose one of his eyes in the incident.

Hammond's lawyer Phillip Millar says the media coverage of this case, "has destroyed his life."