The owners of a cat that died after being shot with an airgun have spoken of their trauma.
Barney was taken to the vets by owners Lisa and Clive Evans on October 4 after he was discovered at the end of a trail of blood and in “a great deal of pain” outside his home in Sawtry.
Mrs Evans said: “I came home from work just after 4pm to find my cat bleeding heavily and in a great deal of pain.”
The family initially thought that Barney had been attacked by a dog but X-rays revealed that he had been shot by an air gun and a pellet had lodged inside his body.
Mr Evans told The Hunts Post: “We rushed him to the local vets but due to the seriousness of the injury he had to be rushed to Cromwell Vets in Huntingdon.”
It was there that veterinarians began to operate on Barney and found he had a puncture wound to his abdomen, and the pellet had perforated his spleen and small intestine.
Despite the efforts of staff at the vets, the air gun pellet in two-year-old Barney’s body had caused such damage that it was beyond repair and the family were forced to say goodbye.
“It has been devastating for our family. Barney was an integral part of our life and a member of our family,” said Mr Evans.
Cambridgeshire police and the RSPCA have been informed of the incident and investigations are ongoing.
Mrs Evans added: “This person has caused great trauma and upset to my family. We are shocked and devastated at the manner in which we lost our beloved Barney.”
In 2015 there were 15 reports of air gun attacks on animals in Cambridgeshire compared to 11 in 2014.
RSPCA inspector, Justin Stubbs said: “Cats and wildlife tend to be the victims of attacks using air guns and pellet guns as they’re out and about in the open. The injuries caused are horrific and can be fatal.
“Nationally, we receive hundreds of reports of air gun attacks on animals every year and would like to remind people that the penalties faced if caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal can be up to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine if convicted under the Animal Welfare Act.
“We are appealing for anyone with any information about what may have happened to this poor cat to get in touch with us by calling our appeal line on 0300 1238018.”