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Warning to pet owners after cats shot

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 September 2008 | UPDATED: 07:40 01 August 2010

CAT owners in the Beccles area are voicing a warning to pet-lovers after at least three cats were shot by what could have been an air-rifle.

McVitie, a two-year-old ginger cat, had his front leg amputated after his shoulder blade was shattered and three ribs broken by a pellet.

CAT owners in the Beccles area are voicing a warning to pet-lovers after at least three cats were shot by what could have been an air-rifle.

McVitie, a two-year-old ginger cat, had his front leg amputated after his shoulder blade was shattered and three ribs broken by a pellet.

His owners Stewart and Jacqui Linnell Morton, who live in Shipmeadow, said he appeared on Monday last week with a wound, and were shocked to discover the cause of his injury when they took him to the vet.

Mrs Linnell Morton said: “There was a bit of blood but we just thought he had been in a fight or something. When I was told my cat had been shot I just couldn't believe it. We were just mortified - it's horrendous.”

She said she suspected someone had shot him on purpose. “If they wanted to kill him they would have killed him,” she said. “There's obviously someone out there going round shooting cats.

The Wherry Veterinary Group in Bungay confirmed that a second cat had to have a leg amputated on the same day as McVitie after being taken in with a similar pellet injury.

Earlier this month a third family from Geldeston reported their 18-month-old cat Marley had been shot in the neck.

Owner Sara Higgins said she is now planning to put up posters appealing for people who may have information to come forward.

“We didn't even realise he had been shot,” she said. “He had a scab that didn't heal, so after a couple of weeks we took him to the vet. It's just so awful.

“There is an area near where people shoot, and sometimes people say cats get shot because they look like rabbits, but they're infinitely different. I think it must be on purpose - too much of it is going on for it to be accidental.”

A spokesman for the RSPCA said that last year saw a rise from 30 to 50 cases in the Eastern region of cats being shot with air weapons. She said: “People need to realise that if they are targeting animals for any reason they could open themselves up to a six-month prison sentence or a large fine.”

Anyone who sees McVitie is asked to call 07920 22448.

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