Cat left with three broken bones after ‘callous’ air gun attack in Hitchin

Alfie the cat suffered three broken bones after being shot at with an air gun

Alfie the cat suffered three broken bones after being shot at with an air gun - Credit: Archant

A cat has been left with three broken bones after being shot at with an air gun.

Archie, a six-year-old tabby, had to have surgery to remove a pellet from his paw after being targeted near to his owner’s home in Cadwell Green, Hitchin.

Owner Hilary Boyde noticed Archie was limping when returning home on July 25 and contacted a friend who works as a vet for advice.

The pet was then taken to Mimran Vetinary Centre in Welwyn where the broken bones were discovered in his paw.

“The vet who saw him originally was concerned that his bones felt ‘meshed’ and advised me to get him x-rayed,” she said.

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“The results of the X-ray showed that he had been shot and the pellet was still lodged in his paw.

“It had managed to do a huge amount of damage with just one bullet, and poor Archie had been left with three broken bones.”

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The vet stabilised him with painkillers and antibiotics and he was given surgery to remove the pellet. Archie is still on painkillers since his ordeal and will be for several more weeks.

Animal welfare charity the RSPCA said it has received more than 250 calls about animals being shot with air guns between June 1 and July 31.

In Hertfordshire, there have been five recorded incidents between January and July, compared to two during the same period the previous year.

Launching an appeal this week, RSPCA inspector Stephen Reeves said: “We need to find out urgently how this happened and who’s responsible for such a callous act. Luckily Archie is responding well to treatment but this was a horrible attack on a defenceless animal.”

Under the Animal Welfare Act, if someone is caught deliberately using an air gun to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal, they could face a £20,000 fine and up to six months in prison.

Anyone with information can call the RSPCA inspectorate line on 0300 123 8018.

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