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Cat is mutilated by air pistol hooligan
8:10am Saturday 17th August 2013 in News
BENNY the cat had to have a leg amputated and his owners were left with vet’s bills of £700 after he was shot twice with an air pistol by an unknown gunman.
Kelly Shepherd, 32, was upset after she was told by vets that they may have to put her beloved one-year-old ginger moggy down if she could not get the money for his treatment this week.
So she borrowed most of the £700 bill from her mum to buy Benny’s life and is now paying the rest in installments as the family, of Moredon, come to terms with the shocking act of cruelty.
“It’s disgusting. I just can’t get my head around who would go round and point blank shoot a cat,” she said.
Mum-of-six Kelly first noticed something was wrong with Benny, one of the family’s five cats including his brother Frankie, about two weeks ago when he was playing with one of her children.
She noticed a puncture wound in his left front leg and was prescribed antibiotics by a vet who told her to come back a week later if it had not healed.
Kelly said: “He started to improve but then a few days ago he was meowing loudly and could not walk on his leg. He was breathing very heavily and was in a lot of pain.
“I took him back to the vet’s and they said they thought it was a broken leg, and an X-ray would cost £200. They said the best option would be to amputate because apparently cats heal better than if they keep the leg.
“I was really emotional. I’m really attached to my animals and so I got the money together to have him X-rayed. Then the vet’s phoned back and said he had been shot in the legs, and had a hairline fracture which had got worse because he put pressure on it.
“One shot went through his left front leg and another went in underneath his right leg so they amputated the left one. He still has a pellet in the other leg.
“It cost £700 and we didn’t have the money so I had to either borrow it or sign him over to the vet, who might have had to put him down. I couldn’t bear that to happen so I was going to fight for him.
“He’s been doing extremely well since he came home on Thursday but it’s affected us all, including the kids.
“To think someone in our community has done this has made us worry for all our pets.”
PCSO Elroy Rodrigues said he would appeal for anyone who knew what had happened to Benny to come forward.
It comes after another cat, Joey, was shot in the leg with a crossbow bolt in Penhill in May.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “We are shocked to hear of this incident which would have caused so much distress for the owners as well as for the cat.
“Sadly these attacks are quite common and we would appeal for anyone with information to get in touch with the police or RSPCA so that we can help to protect other animals from going through the same ordeal.”
The RSPCA confirmed there were five reported air weapon attacks in Wiltshire in 2012, while in the first six months of this year they had already received three reports of attacks.
Anyone with any information should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.