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Who could hurt such innocent creatures?
A COWARDLY act has left cat owners devastated after their beloved moggies fell victim to a series of air rifle attacks in Kingsmead.
Tim, a 10-year-old tabby cat, was left with cuts and bruises after the shot hit his chest on Friday, September 7.
Owner Nick McDonnell of Castlemead Walk, Kingsmead, is now hoping to warn other cat owners of such cruel actions.
“We’re lucky that Tim’s injuries are healing well as the pellet only penetrated his skin,” said Nick.
“We want to make people aware of this, of how cruel some people can be, and make them vigilant.
“Hopefully whoever is doing this will stop once they realise how serious this is and what harm they’ve caused.”
Tim’s owner said he took him straight to the vets after discovering his wounds on Friday.
“Tim likes to roll around on the grass in the garden. It was only when he exposed his tummy that I saw the injury – he didn’t seem to be in any distress.”
The vets originally thought Tim had been bitten, but after a closer look said it looked more like a pellet wound.
Nick’s wife Hayley and two daughters, 17-month-old Eloise and eight-week-old Annabelle are also upset.
“We’ve had Tim since birth,” said Nick, “It’s gut wrenching when something like this happens - they’re part of the family.
“We’re lucky that Tim’s injuries weren’t any worse, but our friend and neighbour has had to have her cat, Looby, put down after she was shot too.”
Looby’s owner, who did not wish to be named, said she is shocked by what has happened to “such innocent creatures”.
She said: “We’d just come back from the school run when my youngest daughter found Looby in the garden – she wasn’t moving but she was still alive.
“We wrapped her up in a towel and took her straight to the vets where we were told her stomach was full of pellets and she’d need an operation.
“We were told it could cost more than £1,000 and even then she might not have made it – it’s awful.
“She was such a friendly cat with no reason to fear a human – I just don’t understand how anyone can do this to such an innocent creature.”
RSPCA worker Calie Rydings said: “Having your pet shot is every owner’s worst nightmare and can cause terrible suffering to the animal involved.
“These pellets may be tiny but can do so much internal damage and perhaps people who shoot animals do not realise the suffering they are causing.”
Anyone found guilty of cruelty to an animal faces up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £20,000.
Sergeant Jason Murray of Northwich neighbourhood policing team said: “We will not tolerate animal cruelty of any kind.
“We will be investigating this matter and appeal to anyone with any information about the incident to come forward.”
Anyone with information should contact Cheshire Police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.