Warning after gunman shoots one cat dead and seriously injures another in Rugby area
An Onley woman is warning other pet owners after having the family cat shot dead last year and their new kitten left with a pellet lodged in his body after being shot two weeks ago.
Catherine Wright said she and her ten-year-old son were horrified to discover their eight-month-old cat, Reg, had been shot on Friday, March 9.
She said: "He'd had his lunch and gone out at around 12:30. He came back at about 2pm limping and wailing in agony. We noticed a bullet wound in his shoulder and I thought 'oh no, please not again'.
"My son looked after him and I went out immediately to see if I could find the shooter."
Reg was rushed to the vet, where a two-hour-long attempt was made to remove the pellet - to no avail.
Mrs Wright said: "He is an eight-month-old kitten and had escaped out of the house. He must have escaped through our back gate and could only have gone a distance of a couple of gardens from our house.
"The person who shot him did so in broad daylight and in a place where there are people who regularly walk their dogs - there was a lady walking her dogs in the field when it happened."
Reg is now at home recovering from the incident.
The attack comes after Mrs Wright and her son discovered their previous cat, Dolly, shot dead in their garden in June 2017.
A post-mortem revealed an additional pellet inside Dolly - meaning she had been shot before.
Mrs Wright said Dolly had been rushed to the vets in November 2016 after she was discovered with a puncture wound.
At the time the vet assumed Dolly had sustained the injury fighting - although Mrs Wright thought it was strange as Dolly did not fight with other cats.
She said: "An x-ray wasn't done in November because you would never assume someone would shoot a cat - the vet thought she had been fighting."
"He [the shooter] obviously shoots cats on a regular basis, seemly just for sport as my cats are not generally allowed out. The police and RSPCA agreed that Dolly was shot off the shed in our garden, suggesting that he did not care whether my 10 year old son was playing in there or not.
"I am told the bullet recovered from Dolly was from a very high powered air rifle, and although unfortunately the vet could not get the bullet from Reg, she did get shrapnel which also suggests a high-powered weapon."
Mrs Wright is now urging residents to be vigilant.
She said: "I do not have to tell you how dangerous it is to have a member of the community who has no qualms about discharging a firearm in broad daylight very close to other people's gardens where children play and people are walking their dogs."
Anyone with information is asked to call Police on 101, quoting incident number 18000118923.
Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.