Cat shot with air rifle had his eye removedThe RSPCA is appealing for witnesses after a cat was shot in the eye with an air rifle.

Owner Rita Varis first realised something had happened when she saw her cat Herbie on a fence behind her property with blood coming from his eye.

She took him to be examined by a vet who at first thought Herbie had caught his eye on a stick.

Herbie’s eye was ulcerated and so the decision was made to remove it. To everyone’s surprise, an air gun pellet was discovered at the back of Herbie’s eye.

Rita, of Green Hills, Harlow, said: “I couldn’t believe it when the vet said Herbie had been shot.

“There’s no excuse for it – Herbie is a really trusting cat so it’s very upsetting that this has happened to him.

“There are quite a few cats around here and I’m concerned something similar might happen to my other cat Wyclef, Herbie’s brother.

“It’s particularly worrying as I have two young children; whoever did this might not be aiming at kids, but anyone can miss. There are lots of houses in this area and windows everywhere and accidents easily happen. It’s so irresponsible.”

Short-haired marmalade and white Herbie (13) is healing well after the operation to remove his eye, but is recovering at the vet surgery while he adjusts to his restricted sight.

Anyone who has any information about this incident, which happened on Sunday 3 March 2013 between about 10am and 10.30am, is asked to call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.

To help the RSPCA investigate situations causing unnecessary suffering to animals you can give £3 by texting the word HELP to 78866 (texts cost £3 plus one standard network rate message).