A public appeal for help has been launched after a cat was found shot in Sutton.
So serious were the male tabby’s injuries that he had to be humanely put to sleep to prevent further suffering.
Now the RSPCA is asking for information in what was a dreadful case of animal cruelty.
The cat, who had no collar and was not microchipped, was discovered by a member of the public on Crowtrees Drive, Sutton last Friday (August 21).
He was taken to a nearby veterinary surgery, where the severe injuries to his stomach were found to be caused by an air gun. An X-ray clearly shows a pellet in his abdomen.
It is thought the cat was likely to have been a stray. But it is difficult to know for sure because no information is available as to who he might have belonged to.
RSPCA inspector Teresa Potter said: “This is an horrific and very sad case of animal cruelty. The cat would have suffered a lot. It was a callous thing for someone to do.
“We urge anyone with any information about what happened, or where the cat might have come from, to call us.” The number to ring is 0300 1234 999.
The shooting is just the latest to afflict the area because only three weeks ago, a cat from Mansfield Woodhouse had to have his leg amputated.
A metal pellet, believed to be from an air rifle, shattered the bones in the leg of 15-month-old Tony, who belongs to Jill Walker, 32, of Oxclose Lane.
“I was absolutely devastated,” said Jill. “I can’t imagine the pain he’s been through.”
IF the perpetrators who shot the cats are caught and prosecuted, they face a severe punishment in court.
Under the Animal Welfare Act, which was brought into place eight years ago, anyone found to be deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal, and causing unncessary suffering, can be fined up to £20,000 and/or be sent to prison for up to six months.
To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this, you can now donate £3 to the organisation by texting the word HELP to 78866. Texts cost the £3, plus the price of one standard network rate message.