Cats shot in cruel air gun attacks

Katie and Ryan Phillips from Hastings with pet cat Maisy, who was shot with an air rifle.
Katie and Ryan Phillips from Hastings with pet cat Maisy, who was shot with an air rifle.

A MOTHER-of-four has told how her cat is lucky to be alive after thugs shot her at close range with an air gun in the third sickening act of animal cruelty in recent weeks.

Sarah Phillips, 27, of Linley Drive, was devastated when Maisy hobbled into her kitchen last Thursday morning (August 29) in agony.

The six-year-old pet had been shot in her front left leg and collapsed on the floor.

Maisy had been let out at 9pm last Wednesday but when she didn’t answer Sarah’s calls at midnight she knew something was wrong.

Sarah realised Maisy was badly hurt and took her to Paul Cooper vet centre on The Ridge where she underwent emergency surgery.

An X-ray revealed a broken upper front left leg with a pellet lodged inside.

Sarah was landed with a bill for almost £700 and now Maisy requires more surgery which will cost another £65.

“It was just horrific,” she said: “I can’t understand why anyone would want to shoot a defenceless and harmless little cat at close range. These people are just the lowest of the low. My children are just dumbfounded and can’t understand how anyone could do this to their cat.

“I have another cat called Tommy and I won’t let him out the front door unless I can see him at all times. Maisy has to stay in a cage now for four weeks and she is terrified. I don’t know if she will have the courage to venture outside again. It is just a despicable act and somebody must know who is responsible.

“I am grateful to Paul Cooper at Coopers Vets for taking such good care of Maisy. If it wasn’t for him, she wouldn’t be here with us now.”

Mr Cooper said: “The cat was in a horrendous amount of pain. The pellet smashed her upper leg bone. If we hadn’t operated she would have lost the leg. It was an air gun fired at close range. I’d like to see these weapons licensed as they are highly dangerous. Thankfully we don’t see too many of these kind of attacks.”

Last month the Observer reported how a thug climbed up scaffolding in Albany Road and threw a cat 30 feet to the ground leaving it with a fractured jaw.

And in another attack, Camilla Dean, who lives opposite Sarah in Linley Drive, told the Observer this week that her cat Socks had to be put to sleep after she was shot with an air rifle on Tuesday, July 23.

The injured black and white moggie was spotted in Hoads Wood Road limping across the street. Camilla said: “At first we thought she had been hit by a car. She managed to drag herself home to us and I called the vet, taking her there the next day.”

Vets originally thought Socks, who was four years old when she died, had a fractured pelvis. But they found an air rifle bullet lodged in her spine.

“The bullet had entered between her shoulder blades, Camilla told the Observer.

She said: “I had Socks since she was only four weeks old. She was a rescue cat and was given to me. Socks was such a special cat and very much part of the family.

“We are all devastated, as my husband and I had to make the worst decision of our lives, whether to see Socks paralysed for the rest of her life or put her to sleep.”

Socks was put down on Thursday, July 25, two days before Camilla’s wedding.

RSPCA inspector Zoe Ballard said: “We take reports of purposeful and illegal cruelty to animals such as these very seriously and urge anyone with any information to come forward and let us know.”

If anyone has any information call the RSPCA’s information line on 0300 123 8018.

Jenni Nuttall, spokeswoman for Sussex Police, said: “Police are appealing for information about two cats which have been shot in Linley Drive in Hastings.

“On Tuesday, July 23 at 4.50pm a woman reported her cat had returned home with injured back legs and when taken to they vet they found a bullet lodged in her spine. Sadly the cat had to be put down.

“Police received another call on September 2 to report a cat had been shot with an air rifle in the leg.

“It happened between 9pm on August 28 and 8am on August 29. Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting serial 604 of September 2.”