The RSPCA is investigating after a cat shot with an air rifle in Nottingham had to have her leg amputated.

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Phoebe, a six-year-old ginger-and-white cat, suffered the injury on Sunday morning last weekend (26 June) near to her home in Glebe Road, Carlton.

She was taken to a vet, where X-rays showed that the pellet had shattered her front left leg so severely that it needed to be removed.

Phoebe’s owner, Tina Humphreys, 39, said: “My husband let Phoebe out at 5.30am on Sunday morning. At 7.15am, Phoebe limped inside and went straight upstairs, which was unusual for her. My husband woke me up and said he thought Phoebe had caught something, because that was his first thought.

“I managed to get her out from under my daughter’s bed, and the first thing I noticed was that her left front paw was limp. We got her to a vets straightaway, and they said that she had broken her leg. We thought initially that she had been in a fight, but then as they were shaving her fur away they could see a small hole in the skin where the pellet had gone in.

“An X-ray showed that the pellet had shattered her whole leg and the vet said the best thing for her would be to amputate the leg as the damage was that bad.”

Phoebe had the amputation surgery on Wednesday. Tina said: “On the way to the vets to pick her up I was getting really upset because I was so worried about seeing her with three legs. I felt sick to the stomach because I didn’t know what to expect.

“She is back home now and the vets are really pleased with her progress, but she is in such a sorry state. The vet said that she is very lucky because if the pellet had gone in at another angle then she might not have survived. I just have to keep thinking to myself that she has lost her leg but at least she has not lost her life.”

RSPCA inspector Dave McAdam, who is investigating, said: “This is a very distressing case for both Phoebe and her family and it has caused a lot of heartache.

“We are pleased that Phoebe is making progress, however she should not have been put in this position in the first place. It is likely that this was a deliberate act and we are urging anyone with any information to contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.”

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