The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat suffered a serious injury when she was shot in a Liverpool street.


One-year-old family pet Tilly spent five days receiving treatment at a vet’s practice after an airgun pellet perforated her bowel, leading her to become very poorly.

It is believed that Tilly was shot with an airgun near to her home in Drakefield Road, Liverpool, sometime on Tuesday 25 April.

RSPCA inspector Helen Smith said: “This is a serious injury and it was touch and go for a couple of days, as the pellet had lodged itself deep within her bowel. As a result of the injury, the contents of her bowel was emptying into her stomach and was making her very ill.

“Her owners are understandably very upset that Tilly was deliberately targeted like this, and it concerns us that someone has thought it acceptable to shoot an innocent animal.”

Tilly’s owner Graham Watson said they noticed something was wrong with Tilly on the Tuesday evening when they noticed her vomiting. He said: “We put her on the table and had a good look at her, and that’s when we realised there was blood all over her stomach.

“She was clearly in a lot of pain and was making noises which I had never heard her make before – it was awful. We took her straight to the vets, where they carried out tests – that’s when they discovered she had been shot.”

Surgery was carried out on Tilly to remove the pellet.

Graham said: “Tilly was seriously ill but thankfully she is recovering well and we have got her home with us now. We can’t face letting her outside again after this, given that someone has deliberately targeted her. My partner Debbie is devastated and can’t understand why someone would do this to her.”

Inspector Smith said: “It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals. These are deliberate and brutal acts of cruelty.

“Cats and wildlife are normally the animals that are more susceptible to these incidents simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them. Unfortunately, air rifle attacks are not as rare as we would like. The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal. In this case, Tilly is incredibly lucky.

“We are supporting Cats Protection’s call for tighter controls on air weapons. This, along with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun, and requirements that everyone must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk out of the shop could help relieve the problem.

“These weapons cause horrific pain and suffering and it is illegal. Anyone caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal can be up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.”

Anyone who has any information on who shot Tilly should contact the RSPCA in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018, leaving a message for Inspector Helen Smith.

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.)