1. ITV Report

Pet cat shot in shoulder with air rifle survives operation to remove pellet

Credit: RSPCA

A pet cat has been shot with an air rifle in Lichfield.

The RSPCA has issued a warning to pet owners in the area following the shooting.

The cats owner, Sarah Foley first realised there was something wrong with her two-year-old cat, called Obi, when he appeared terrified as he ran at speed through the cat flap of their home.

She then noticed Obi was struggling to walk so she rushed him to the local vets where they discovered he had been shot in the shoulder.

He underwent emergency treatment to remove the pellet, following the incident, which happened on Saturday December 15.

Credit: RSPCA

He has also had to have follow-up treatment over the festive period.

Sarah said: “It was just so shocking to find out he had been shot and it is obvious that it was a deliberate attack.

“It is despicable to target an innocent animal and it does worry me that other pets in the area could be at risk such as wildlife. Other animals may have been shot which we don’t know about.

“I just want to warn other pet owners to be vigilant so hopefully they don’t have to go through such an upsetting ordeal and also to appeal to anyone who knows who did this to contact the RSPCA.

“Obi has been back and forth to the vets over the festive period but now it appears he is turning the corner thankfully.”

Sarah has printed off leaflets outlining the incident which she has distributed to local residents.

Credit: RSPCA

RSPCA inspector Kate Levesley, who is investigating, said: “I believe this was a deliberate and callous attack and am appealing for information

“Every year the RSPCA receives almost 1,000 calls to investigate cases and help hundreds of animals that are the defenceless victims of air gun attacks.

“It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals. These are deliberate and brutal acts of cruelty.

“Cats and wildlife are normally the animals that are more susceptible to these incidents simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them. Unfortunately, air rifle attacks are not as rare as we would like. The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal.

"We are supporting Cats Protection’s call for tighter controls on air weapons. This, along with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun, and requirements that everyone must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk out of the shop could help relieve the problem.

“These weapons cause horrific pain and suffering and it is illegal. Anyone caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal can be up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.