The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was shot in Nottinghamshire.
The male tabby cat, who had no collar and was not microchipped, was found with the injuries by a member of the public in Crowtrees Lane, Sutton-in-Ashfield, on Friday (21 August).
He was taken to a vets where the injuries to his stomach were found to be caused by an air gun. They were so severe that the vet humanely put him to sleep to prevent further suffering.
It is thought the cat was likely to be a stray cat but it is difficult to know for sure due to there being no information as to who he belonged to.
RSPCA inspector Teresa Potter said: “This is a horrific and very sad case of animal cruelty and the cat would have suffered a lot. It is a callous thing for someone to do.
“We urge anyone with any information about what happened, or where the cat may have come from, to call us.”
Under the Animal Welfare Act, if someone is caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal, those causing unnecessary suffering to animals face a £20,000 fine and/or up to six months in prison.
Anyone with information on the incident should call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message)