A CHURCH Hill resident has been left shocked after her 14-month-old Burmese cat was shot by an airgun.
The animal has been left in a critical condition after the shooting last Sunday (August 2) sometime between 11am and 13.25pm.
As its owners were away from home at the time, the injured pet was discovered by neighbours who rushed it to the vets.
An RSPCA spokesperson said:”This is a very concerning incident and no doubt extremely traumatic for both the cat and its owner.
“We have been made aware of similar incidents across the country.
“Even though the injuries may not prove fatal, they may be life changing for the victim of a cruel deliberate act.”
Burmese cats, which make excellent family pets, are valuable animals, with prices for kittens reaching between £450 and £650.
Understood to love the company of people and other felines, the Burmese are a breed which are said to stay close to home.
“This is an awful, cowardly attack on a defenceless animal,” said PC Jon Watts.
“I would be very keen to hear from anyone who is able to assist with the investigation.”
Under the Animal Welfare Act, anyone convicted of deliberately illegally using an air weapon to injure an animal, could face a £20,000 fine and could face up to six months in prison.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police on 101, extension 4188, quoting crime reference number 22DF/55224A/15.