The RSPCA have launched an appeal after a cat was shot with an airgun in Stoke-on-Trent.
The black and white female cat was found collapsed by a member of the public in Ford Avenue on March 16 at around 10pm.
The vets who treated the cat contacted the RSPCA, who are now investigating the incident. The pellet wound was deep inside her abdomen, which would have caused a lot of pain.
The vets are also trying to locate her owner, as she isn’t microchipped and they believe she has recently given birth to kittens.
The RSPCA received 884 calls in 2017 reporting airgun attacks on animals across England and Wales. A total of 4,500 reports of airgun attacks were received by the charity from 1 January to 31 December 2017.
Animal Collection Officer, (ACO) Julie Lyons, who was alerted to the incident, said: “This friendly cat had a nasty wound in her abdomen where she had been shot with an airgun pellet. This is a callous attack on an innocent animal and we are appealing for anyone with information to contact us.
“We are very concerned that it appears as though the cat gave birth to kittens within the last few weeks and this litter could be needing their mother’s milk and will be very vulnerable without her.”
The government has pledged to review the regulations of air weapon licensing. The animal welfare charity has been calling for stricter regulations around owning airguns as well as better education and explanation of the law for those buying an airgun.
ACO Lyons added: “Not only is this a brutal act of cruelty against somebody’s pet, but it is also against the law. That’s why we are taking this very seriously and would like anyone with information to come forward.”
To report animal cruelty you can call the 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.