The RSPCA is appealing for information about a cat who died after being shot at close range in Birmingham.

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George, a male tabby who was eight months old, suffered serious injuries to his kidneys and a main artery after being shot in his abdomen.

He was found in the back garden of his home in Chestnut Drive, Erdington, Birmingham, on the evening of Wednesday, 11th November by his owners, Rachel and Richard Bourne.

George, pictured left, was rushed to the vets and operated on but sadly died later that evening.

Owners Rachel and Richard, both 31, said that they have been left devastated by the incident and that they are very concerned about the welfare of their other cat Oscar, pictured right with George.

Rachel said: “It has been awful for us and Oscar. We have been very upset about it and there is the additional concern of Oscar, as he and George were a real double-act. Oscar is crying all the time and we know that he is upset and confused by what has happened. Both of our cats have suffered because of this and it is horrible.”

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She said that George was found curled up in the shed at the back of their garden after he failed to come in when called.

“That was unusual because neither cats ventured very far and they would be by the back door within 30 seconds of being called,” said Rachel.

“But on that day, Oscar was sitting by the back door meowing, which was very unusual. Something didn’t feel right so we got a torch and started looking for George in the back garden.

“We found him curled up in the corner of the shed. He had a tiny wound to his abdomen, it didn’t look big at all. We took him inside and he was very limp and lethargic, so we took him to the vets straightaway.

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“They did an x-ray and that’s when they saw the pellet inside him. We couldn’t believe it when we found out he had been shot because the wound on him was so small. The thought of him being shot had not crossed our minds at all. The vet said that they believed because of this, George had been shot at close range.

“George was operated on but when he was opened up, it was discovered that the pellet had gone right through to the other side of his body and caused serious damage to his kidneys and a main artery. Unfortunately the injuries were so serious that he died.

“We have got the pellet and it is a horrible thing, it has a very sharp end. We are so worried that whoever did this coaxed George to go near them and then shoot him. We do have a public field behind our house and I’m very concerned that someone did this while George was sat on the fence at the back of our garden, because it is very unlikely he would have been able to have jumped over a fence with the injuries that he had.”

RSPCA inspector Natalie Perehovsky said: “This is a very upsetting incident for Rachel and Richard, and one which we are very concerned about as George would have suffered horribly after being shot at close range.

“We do not know for sure how this happened but we want to make sure that no other animal has to go through this again.

“We urge anyone who has any information at all about this incident to contact the RSPCA in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.”

Those found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal could face a maximum six-month prison sentence and/or a £20,000 fine.

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).