RSPCA investigators are appealing for information after a much-loved family cat was shot with an air gun in Rugby.
Jackson, the black and white cat, was shot with a pellet over the Easter bank holiday weekend near to his home in Rowland Street.
At first his owners had been cleaning and treating the wound on his back believing it was an abscess.
It was not until he was later examined by a vet they found the metal pellet, the size of a five pence piece, wedged in his back and realised he had been shot.
The attack was reported to the RSPCA earlier this month and inspectors are appealing for anyone who might know what happened to Jackson to contact them.
Inspector Georgia McCormick, who received the call, said: “This was a horrible attack on an innocent animal who was just out exploring around his home.
“There is no information on who did this yet but we are appealing for anyone with information to get in touch.
“His owners had cleaned and treated the lump on his back thinking it was an abscess.
“It didn’t occur to them that someone would be so horrible as to shoot their cat.”
Luckily Jackson is now on the mend and his owners are thrilled that he is doing well.
Insp McCormick added: “Every year the RSPCA receives almost 1,000 calls to investigate cases and help hundreds of animals that are the defenceless victims of air gun attacks.
“It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals. These are deliberate and brutal acts of cruelty.
“Cats and wildlife 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.
“Unfortunately, air rifle attacks are not as rare as we would like and the injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal.
“We are supporting Cat’s Protection’s call for tighter controls on air weapons.
“This, along with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun could help relieve the problem.
“These weapons cause horrific pain and suffering and it is illegal.
“Anyone caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal can be up to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.”
If you have any information contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and reference Inspector McCormick.