A cat needed major surgery to fit a plate to her broken leg after being shot with an air rifle.
RSPCA inspector Tom Hutton has launched an investigation after five-year-old Holly was shot near to her home in Full Sutton, a small village near York, on Monday 17 August.
Tom said: “The family rushed Holly to the vet after she managed to crawl home on Monday morning. She was holding her leg up and bleeding from a wound. Vets found that she’d been shot in the leg and her femur had been broken. She needed major surgery to fit a metal plate to repair the break, costing her owners thousands of pounds.”
The incident has been reported to police as well as the RSPCA, and Holly’s owners – who have asked to remain anonymous – have been making enquiries in the village.
Tom added: “Holly’s owners have discovered from locals that another cat has been injured twice after being shot with an air gun. This has really concerned them and is something the police will be following up with.
“I’m also making local enquiries and am appealing to the public to help with the investigation. Anyone with information should contact our appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
Holly, a dark tortoiseshell, is now back at home with her family and is recovering well from her surgery.
Holly’s owner said: “It’s shocking that this could happen to her, and especially as we live in such a small community.
“She’s normally an outdoor cat and is very sweet and good-natured. It’s so sad that someone would do this to her.”
Every year, the RSPCA receives hundreds of calls reporting incidents of animals being shot and injured – or even killed – by air guns. The charity is calling for mandatory licensing of air guns and also wants to see improved enforcement of airgun legislation as well as better, more targeted education and explanation of the law for those buying one.
To report an incident involving an air gun or an injured animal, please contact the RSPCA’s emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999.