The RSPCA is appealing for information after a pet cat was shot with an airgun which narrowly missed his heart.
The ginger and white cat called Minchin was callously shot with an airgun in Birchanger Road, South Norwood in the morning of Wednesday 26 June or sometime during the previous evening.
His owner Rimante Svedaite first realised he was injured on Wednesday morning when she spotted swelling and bruising on his side. He was taken to the vets and an x-ray revealed that he had actually been shot by a pellet which narrowly missed his heart and his spine.
RSPCA Inspector Liz Wheeler, who is now investigating, said: “This was a callous and cruel attack on a much-loved pet. Unfortunately, we regularly have to deal with injured or dead animals which have been shot by people using air rifles.
“The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal. Cats and wildlife, particularly birds 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.
“It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals. People need to remember the devastating consequences that shooting at animals with airguns can have.
“We are calling 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.”
Minchin’s owner, Rimante said: “When he came in from the garden on the Wednesday morning, he was hiding under the sofa which wasn’t like him. At first, I thought he’d been in a fight with another animal as he had bruising and swelling on his back, but the x-ray showed a pellet near his spine. He was lucky it didn’t kill or cripple him.
“It’s really upsetting, so many things go through your mind about why this happened, maybe someone doesn’t like animals, and it always starts with animal cruelty. It’s obviously upsetting for Minchin, but I also have two children who play in the garden and this is just an accident waiting to happen.”
Minchin who is two and a half years old, is now on the road to recovery and the RSPCA is appealing for information to try and find out what happened to him.
Since the incident, some of Rimante’s neighbours have been in touch on Facebook to say their cats have also been shot with an airgun in the area.
If you have any information, or saw anything unusual on the evening of Tuesday 25 June, or early morning on Wednesday 26 June around Birchanger Road in South Norwood, you can call the inspectorate line on 0300 123 8018.