The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was shot in Dunstable on 4 August.
Betty, a semi-longhaired black cat, returned to her home in Capron Road with a limp on Sunday.
Her owner wasn’t sure what had happened to five-year-old Betty so took her to Noah’s Ark vets in the town.
It was then that x-rays revealed a metal pellet was lodged in her rear left leg. Vets removed the pellet, which had missed the bone but caused tissue damage. Betty is now recovering at home.
RSPCA inspector Stephanie Law said: “Betty was extremely lucky not to have suffered a more serious injury after this horrible attack. She could have suffered a broken leg or worse – people who shoot at cats just don’t have any regard for the suffering they cause.
“We now need to find out who was behind this so if anyone has any information at all, no matter how small, they need to get in touch on our inspector information line – 0300 123 8018.”
There were 799 air weapon shootings reported to the RSPCA in 2012. Shocking figures show that for the first six months of 2013, 438 reports had already been received.
In Bedfordshire, there were six reported attacks in 2012 and there were already four reported incidents in the first six months of 2013.
This indicates that the overall figure for 2013 could be set to increase.
Anyone found to be deliberately injuring or killing a cat with an air weapon could face a maximum six months prison and/or a £20,000 fine. More information on air weapons and the law can be found at: www.basc.org.uk/en/shooting/airgunning/air-rifles.cfm
To help support the RSPCA’s work then please text HELP to 78866 now to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).
Notes to editors
A photograph is available from Sophie Wilkinson on 07834 677649. Please note that the owners do not wish to speak to the media.