A FOURTH cat owner in town has come forward this week to say her pet was shot by an air rifle.
Jenny Scott-Russell, 18, of Martineau Lane, said Rue was hit in her back left leg nearly more than two months ago and is still limping.
But the air gun pellet was not discovered by X-ray until last week, despite X-rays being taken at Rue’s two earlier visits to the vet.
Miss Scott-Russell said: “Initially we thought Rue’s wound was due to a bite so the vet sent us home.
“Four days later Rue broke the bone in her back left leg. We believe the bone had snapped overnight on what was initially a hairline fracture.”
Following an X-ray 10-month-old Rue had a steel pin placed inside her leg during an operation on July 23.
Last Wednesday (September 4) she took her cat back to Paul Cooper vet centre, on The Ridge, to have the pin removed from her leg and it was during this visit that an X-ray showed the pellet inside.
She said: “The pellet had been inside throughout ever since Rue was shot two-and-a-half months ago. Two earlier X-rays taken at the vets had missed it. It is still inside her leg as it was decided to leave it, rather than remove the pellet otherwise it could do more damage.
“I don’t know whether Rue was shot deliberately or if it was an accident but I’m upset over it, as she is not going to be right again. It’s not a nice thing to happen to her.”
Gemma Lawton, veterinary surgeon at Paul Cooper vet centre, said unless the pellet started causing pain and tissue damage it would be unnecessary to remove it.
Last week the Observer reported on how Sarah Phillips’ cat Maisy was lucky to be alive after thugs shot her pet at close range in her front left leg with an air gun on August 29. The cat had to have emergency surgery.
Earlier last month a thug climbed up scaffolding in Albany Road and threw a cat 30 feet to the ground leaving it with a fractured jaw.
In another attack, Camilla Dean, of Linley Drive, told the Observer last week that her cat Socks had to be put to sleep after she was shot with an air rifle on Tuesday, July 23.
Carrie Allen, spokeswoman for Sussex Police, said it was not known whether Rue was deliberately shot or not.
She said: “Understandably the owner of the cat was very upset by what had happened and wanted to make other people in the area aware. We were able to speak with her to reassure her that we would do all we could to find out what happened, and to speak to local neighbours and residents.”