The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was shot 10 times in Crewe.

A member of the public found the male black cat seriously injured, lying on a grass verge in Middlewich Road, Crewe, near to Bentley Motors, on Saturday 10 March.

He was taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Cattery, in London Road, Nantwich, where he was examined by a vet. An x-ray showed 10 air gun pellets embedded inside his body – two in his neck, one in his chest, five in his left leg, one in his stomach and one in his spine.

Sadly he was so poorly and in pain that the decision was made to put him to sleep.

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley, said it was an upsetting experience for the members of staff. “He was unresponsive when he was found – he was in a collapsed state, pale, cold and very wet,” said Lee.

“An x-ray showed that the cat had been peppered with air gun pellets.

“We don’t know how long he had been lying there injured for or the exact time he was shot, but someone must have seen something or knows who did this. Given there were 10 pellets inside him, we can’t imagine this was a quick attack.

“He was in a very bad way so the decision was made to put him to sleep to end his suffering. He wasn’t microchipped so we don’t know if he was an owned cat or a stray. If he was a much-loved family pet, his family must be out of their mind with worry.

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

“We urge anyone who has any information, or who may know who owns the cat, to contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.”

Every year the RSPCA receives almost 1,000 calls to investigate cases and help hundreds of animals that are the defenseless victims of air gun attacks.

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.

The RSPCA is supporting Cat’s 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.

Anyone caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal can be sentenced up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.