Cat shot with air weapon has leg amputated

THE RSPCA and Herts Police are appealing to the public for help after a cat had to have a leg amputated after being shot with an air weapon. Pebbles, a 14-year-old tabby and white male cat, was shot on Monday last week near his home in Alban Road, Letchwo

THE RSPCA and Herts Police are appealing to the public for help after a cat had to have a leg amputated after being shot with an air weapon.

Pebbles, a 14-year-old tabby and white male cat, was shot on Monday last week near his home in Alban Road, Letchworth GC.

The Calcasola family, which owns Pebbles, says he went out for his usual morning walk but failed to return home in the afternoon. Later that night the cat appeared limping from a bush in the garden, howling and crying with pain and in great distress.

Pebbles was rushed to a vet and the following day, after an X-ray, it was discovered he had been shot with an air gun and the pellet had shattered the cat's hip, causing considerable damage to the remainder of his leg.

The vet had no option but to amputate the leg because of the extent of the injuries, and said the cat was probably shot at close range.

Pebbles returned home on Thursday and is now recovering from his ordeal.

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"To shoot any animal for fun is wicked," said owner Valerie Calcasola, aged 53.

"I am so annoyed that somebody could do this to an animal. I refused to have Pebbles put down because he wasn't sick. He is recovering well and getting used to walking with three legs. Hopefully he will make a complete recovery."

Pebbles' treatment has cost the Calcasola's �600 so far.

RSPCA inspector, Kim Lawrence, said: "This was a deliberate and callous attack on a friendly and much-loved family pet.

"Targeting animals for some sort of strange enjoyment is not acceptable and will not be tolerated."

Last year there were 140 reported air gun attacks on animals in the RSPCA's east region, 37 of which were cats alone.

These figures have increased since 2007, when 118 animals were attacked, but the RSPCA says these figures are thought to be the tip of the iceberg as many incidents go unreported.

Those found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal could face a maximum six-month prison sentence and or a �20,000 fine.

Anyone with information about the shooting of Pebbles should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

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