The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was shot with an air rifle in Swadlincote.

The four-year-old white and grey male tabby was found with severe injuries to his back legs in Parliament Street, Newhall, Swadlincote, on Wednesday, 28 October.

On examination at a vets, the injuries were found to have been caused by an air rifle. The cat is now recovering at home.

RSPCA inspector Kate Levesley said: “This is a horrific case of animal cruelty and the cat would have suffered a great deal of pain. It is a callous thing for someone to do.

“Sadly, cats tend to be vulnerable to such deliberate attacks simply because they are out there in the open on their own. The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal.

“We urge anyone with any information about what happened, or where the cat may have come from, to call us on 0300 123 8018.”

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.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).