The RSPCA is appealing for information after a fox died after being shot with a plastic arrow in Stoke-on-Trent.

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The animal welfare charity was contacted on Sunday after a member of the public spotted the animal with the arrow sticking out of his back left leg in Spout Lane. Sadly, when an RSPCA inspector found him he had died from his injuries.

RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “Sadly there was very little chance of the fox overcoming this injury. The poor animal would have been in so much pain.

“It is obvious that whoever did this did so deliberately and it is disturbing to think that whoever did this was maliciously intending to injure – and possibly kill – an animal.

“We urge anyone with any information about this to call us on 0300 123 8018 so we can try and stop this happening to any other animal.”

It is against the law under section 11 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act to kill or take any wild animal using a bow or crossbow.

Anyone who witnesses an animal which needs rescuing should contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).