The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was found shot more than EIGHT times in the Birling, West Malling Kent.
Poor KC was shot sometime during Tuesday night (26 September) and Wednesday (27 September) morning. He was shot from a number of different directions and x-rays showed that the pellets had entered him in his head, torso and hip.
It was initially believed that there were even more pellets inside him, but a total of eight have been found. Some of the puncture wounds are through-and-through, where pellets have gone in and out.
His owner Jacqui Gill said: “Given the large number of pellets found in poor KC we believe it must have been a group of people with air rifles and it was clearly deliberate and intentional and they then just left him for dead.
“KC is chipped and has a collar on at all times.
“It is a miracle that the pellet found in his head did not enter his skull, but it is now worryingly sitting under his skin. Another pellet went straight through his scapula and has lodged itself millimeters from his heart. The pellet that shattered his humerus, has split the bone down lengthwise, with splinters at the top. There are four pellets in total in his chest area and one near his pelvis and spine, but no trauma has been caused by these.
“When we realised KC had not come home as normal we searched everywhere for him. He eventually pulled himself out the bushes across a private road and collapsed in front of my husband Paul.
“We had no idea what had happened and thought he had been attacked by dogs or a wild animal.
“We bundled him in the car and took him straight to Sandhole Veterinary Centre. They took the initial x-rays which confirmed that he was shot numerous times. They attended to him and gave us medication to care for him at home. We kept him with us overnight and returned the next morning for a check up.
“Following further checkups we then took him to Fitzpatrick Referrals for his surgery. They sedated him and took more detailed x-rays, and staff couldn’t believe, given the extent of his injuries, that he was still alive. It was decided that given how much trauma poor KC’s body has gone through it’s not right to operate on him just yet. He has two lengthwise breaks down his humerus, but it seems stable enough for now, provided he is kept still.
“KC has been confined to cage rest for a further four weeks, after which more x-rays need to be taken. We do not know, at this time, what treatment they may want to give, if anything.
“We set up a fundraising page to pay for the treatment and we have been overwhelmed by the kind support and generosity of everyone and we thank them all.
“My husband and I are also offering a reward for any information to find who could have done this and so that we can bring the offender/s to court. We have reported it to both the police and the RSPCA.”
RSPCA Inspector Rosie Russon is investigating the incident and said: “I am truly mortified by what has happened to poor little KC and I, like everyone, else hope he can pull through this horrendous ordeal.
“This is a clear deliberate act of cruelty. I would urge anyone who has any information in relation to this incident to contact the RSPCA. While I do not want to alarm cat owners in the area, I would urge them to be extra vigilant and to contact the RSPCA or the police if they do see anyone acting suspiciously in the area.
“Anyone with information is urged to call the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. The incident has also been reported to the police.”
The government has announced they will be carrying out a review around the regulation of air weapon licensing.
The RSPCA hopes that any future regulations around the licensing of these weapons in England and Wales will better protect people, children and animals.
The RSPCA has long been calling for stricter regulations around owning airguns as well as better education and explanation of the law for those buying an airgun. Our 24-hour cruelty hotline receives hundreds of calls every year reporting airgun attacks on animals. Last year, we received 890 calls and this year looks set to top that and, worryingly, reach a five-year high.
Animals can suffer horrendous injuries and often die as a result of airgun attacks and these weapons are potentially extremely dangerous for people as well.
There were 4,828 airgun incidents reported to the RSPCA between 1 January 2012 and 30 June 2017: wild birds (2,003); cats (1,814); wild mammals (349), dogs (345) and farm birds (104).
The penalties faced if caught deliberately using an airgun to injure an animal can be up to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.
Legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland requires anyone who possesses, purchases or uses an air weapon to have a licence. The RSPCA is backing a petition launched by Cats Protection to extend this legislation to England and Wales.
Incidents in which an animal has been shot or targeted by someone using an airgun should contact the RSPCA’s national cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.