Pet cat, Jet, staggered back to his home in Highfield Road at around 12pm to the horror of his owners, who saw straight away the extent of his injuries.
Jet, who is just 18 months old, was bleeding from his side, and was suffering with a severe wound.
The black and white male cat had been let out of the house by his owners at 9.30am that morning, before returning home severely injured.
Jet’s owner rushed him straight to the vets where he underwent emergency surgery, and it became clear that he had been shot with an air rifle pellet. The pellet had entered the skin on one side of the body and was almost protruding through his other side, damaging several of his vital organs.
RSPCA inspector Bradshaw, who is investigating this cruel case, said: “Poor Jet has really suffered yet it is unbelievable how trusting this little cat is despite someone brutally shooting him.
“It is not acceptable to shoot a cat with an air rifle and I would encourage all cat owners in the area to be extra vigilant at this time, and to contact us if they have any information as to who may be responsible.
“Anyone with information can leave me a message, in complete confidence, by calling 0300 123 8018.”
Jet is now recovering at Eastfield Vets, who are hopeful that he will make a good recovery in time.
Vet nurse Claire Applewhite admitted Jet to the hospital and said: “When Jet was rushed to us by his owners he was lethargic and depressed and clearly in a great deal of pain. The pellet had gone through his abdomen, spleen, liver and stomach. We x-rayed him and rushed him into surgery which was successful, and we are hopeful that Jet will make a full recovery.”
The RSPCA is backing calls for stricter regulations around the use of airguns, following the introduction of legislation in Scotland which now means that anyone with an airgun must have a licence.
Last year, the charity received 890 calls to its cruelty hotline reporting airgun attacks. This is set to be topped by then end of 2017 however, with 471 calls received by the RSPCA by the end of June - with six months of the year still to come.
The penalties faced by anyone caught deliberately using an airgun to injure an animal can be up to six months in prison, and/or a £20,000 fine, under the Animal Welfare Act.