A family has been left devastated after their pet Chihuahua was shot in the head and killed in their garden.
Suzzanna Day had let five-year old Chihuahua, Lola out into their back garden to go to the toilet while she and her three children were just metres away inside the house unpacking from a recent trip.
She said: “She wanted a wee, so I let her out in the garden. I took a bag upstairs to my bedroom and when I came back down I went to call her back in. She was just lying there in a pool of blood.”
Suzzanna’s brother who lived just around the corner from her rushed Lola to the vet who confirmed that she was dead, and an x-ray found a metal pellet lodged in her skull.
The family reported the incident, which happened un the St Pauls Road are of Islington on Wednesday 15 August to police and the RSPCA.
RSPCA animal welfare officer (AWO) Siobhan Trinnaman is now investigating. She said: “This is utterly heart-breaking for Lola and her family. Little Lola was just sniffing and playing in her own garden where she should have been safe. For someone to have shot her in her head is absolutely despicable.”
AWO Trinnaman has urged anyone with any information about what happened to contact police on 101 or the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
Earlier this year, the RSPCA launched a call for mandatory licencing of airguns in England & Wales. Britain’s biggest animal welfare charity made the recommendations as part of a submission to the UK Government’s current review of regulation of air weapons following serious incidents involving children.
Last year (2017) the charity received 661 calls reporting incidents of animals being targeted by people using air weapons – 37 of those from Greater London. So far this year they have received 321 calls – 12 of which came from Greater London.
AWO Trinnaman added: “We receive hundreds of calls every year about wild animals, birds and cats who are victims of these atrocious airgun attacks. Sadly, Lola is the latest victim of these lethal weapons. Animals can suffer horrendous injuries and often die as a result of airgun attacks and these weapons are potentially extremely dangerous for people as well.
“That’s why the RSPCA is calling for stricter controls over airguns as well as better education and explanation of the law for those buying ones.”
If caught deliberately using an airgun to injure an animal you could face up to six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine, if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.