Myrtle Beach — Police are investigating a case of animal cruelty in which a tabby cat was shot at least three times, shattering a femur and breaking one knee.

The male cat, now named Matty, was found in an abandoned home last week in Green Sea by Candace Mize, who works at Paws Inn in North Myrtle Beach. At least three .22-caliber bullets were found inside the cat, which has undergone two surgeries so far.

Mize, who was attending a friend’s party in Green Sea, walked out to her car and heard soft meows coming from the neighbor’s house. The house had been abandoned, and underneath Mize found two cats. Both appeared injured.

“I took a hotdog there, and Matty ate it up,’’ Mize said. “I was able to get him out with food, but the other cat wouldn’t come to me.’’

One bullet had fractured Matty’s front left knee, while a second had shattered his back left femur. A third bullet wound was located near his stomach, and it was removed as a precautionary measure.

Earle McDaniel, a veterinarian at the Animal Hospital of North Myrtle Beach, operated on the cat and is not charging for surgery costs, said Virginia Talley, a volunteer with Sav-R-Cats.

“He seems to be a very well- adjusted cat,’’ McDaniel said. “He’s very sweet and loving.”

The wounds possibly occurred several weeks ago, McDaniel said, since they were beginning to heal when he was brought to the vet. However, bullet injuries are not very common in the Grand Strand area.

“Fortunately, we don’t see many injuries like this here,” McDaniel said. “It’s usually in more rural areas where people will shoot cats.”

For now, Matty doesn’t need any more surgeries, but due to the pin and wires in his legs, he will have a limp once he walks again, McDaniel said.

Mize has volunteered to foster the lucky feline, and she hopes to adopt Matty once he’s fully healed.