A pet kitten is lucky to be alive after it was shot twice by a mystery ‘gunman’.
Antonia Duddle’s six-month-old tomcat Pepper had one of the lead pellets removed from his side at PDSA vets on Hawes Side Lane, Blackpool, on Thursday.
Antonia, 30, initially believed the pellets to be cysts when she discovered them embedded in her pet’s body when he was just four-months old.
She said: “He had a little scab on his side and I could feel a lump, and I rang the vet and they told me it was probably nothing serious and that they would check it when he was neutered.
“I had been letting him out in the garden and when I’ve not noticed he must have slipped out and somebody has shot him.
“I think it’s disgusting. The fact that he was just four months old means they have shot a little kitten.
“I was shocked but the vet herself wasn’t because she said there had been a few of these shootings.”
Vets removed one of the pellets from Pepper’s side, but were unable to locate the other as it had gone further into his body.
He may require further surgery to remove it in the future.
Antonia, an events manager who lives in Poulton, said: “I definitely don’t expect this sort of thing in Poulton and quite a lot of people in the area have got cats and that’s why I wanted to make people aware that this is happening. It could happen to any other cat or even a dog.
“I think it’s important that people know what’s going on.
“I will still let Pepper out because I don’t think it’s fair to keep a cat in, but he doesn’t seem to want to go out in the garden. I think it’s knocked his confidence. He’s not as brave as he was.”
She has now appealed for anyone who may be able to identify the shooter to come forward, and is in the process of reporting the shooting to the police.
Senior vet at Blackpool PDSA Pet Hospital, Jennifer Jackson, said: “Sadly we do see animals with injuries from air gun pellets fairly frequently at our pet hospitals.
“Here in Blackpool we’d estimate we see about three or four cases each year. The effects from such attacks can be devastating and, sadly, can often be fatal.
“We would advise anyone with any information about deliberate attacks on pets to contact the local police and RSPCA.”