A cat has been left blind in one eye after being shot in an ‘horrific’ attack
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Shocked owner Rhiann Abbot, 27, said the vet told her that ginger rescue cat Freddie was shot at point blank range with a high-powered air rifle.
She rushed her pet, who recently turned one, to the PDSA centre on Hawes Side Lane when she saw him with blood pouring from his right eye.
Mum-of-two Rhiann, of Ascot Road, Layton, said: “Someone shot him from about a metre away, they said.
“There was blood dripping from his eye. It looked like his eye had burst –it was horrific.
“When he blinked it was like his eye was coming out.”
Lancashire Police is now investigating the shooting, but the lack of witnesses means it is unclear exactly where it happened.
Although the force has logged the incident as taking place on Monday – when it was reported – Rhiann said she noticed the injury when Freddie was at home on the Friday, three days earlier.
As he can come and go via the cat flap, the first she knew of it was when he came home with the injury.
Initially, she was unaware he had been shot.
“Later on that night they operated,” she said.
“The vet rang me and said we’ve removed an item from his eye. I was thinking he had got a twig or something in his eye. They said it was a high-powered air rifle.
“There is a lunatic out there with a rifle that’s shooting at cats.”
Rhiann – who also has four other cats, a dog and keeps tarantulas and rats – said Freddie was now recovering well but having to adjust to the loss of his sight in his right eye.
“They said he might have to lose his eye completely,” the 27-year-old added.
“There’s never anything like this that I’ve heard of happening round here.”
Christine Meryem, of Tender Paws cat sanctuary, where Freddie once lived, said: “How could they do this to a defenceless animal? We think it was at point blank range.
“We’re waiting for the swelling on the eye to go down before they can tell how much or hopefully how little brain damage there is.
“These guns should be licenced. We pray to God he will be all right. He’s a beautiful little boy. No animal deserves what he got, ever.”
Lancashire Police confirmed it was investigating the incident. A force spokesman said: “It was reported that someone has shot the cat with an air rifle.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting log 745 of January 8.