The RSPCA is searching for the owners of a cat who was found with serious injuries in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.
The black and white cat was found staggering along Alton Park Road with a broken leg by a concerned member of the public.
The cat - thought to be around six-years-old - has been receiving veterinary care since being taken in by the RSPCA.
Chief inspector Sam Garvey said: “She has a horrible break to her back leg and x-rays revealed three pellets lodged inside her leg and chest.
“It’s not clear whether her leg was broken at the same time as the airgun attack but she appears to have been shot some time ago as there are no fresh wounds.
“She is a lovely cat and, other than the injuries, was in good condition when she was found on 9 December. We think she is a family pet who has gone missing and it’s likely there is someone out there who is desperately missing her.
“Unfortunately, she is not microchipped and had no collar or identification tag when she was found so we’re appealing to the public to get in touch if they know where she may have come from.
“We’re also investigating the circumstances around how she came to suffer such awful injuries and would encourage anyone with any information to get in touch by calling our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”