Cat shot dead with air rifle in Taverham

A cat has died after being shot with an air rifle in what the pet's owner condemned as a 'disgusting' attack.

The RSPCA is appealing for information after the three-year-old ginger cat called Squeak was shot in Taverham.

Squeak was spotted by a neighbour lying in an alley near Pyehurn Mews and it was initially thought the cat had been hit by a car.

But when the cat's owners picked her up they could see blood pouring from her side and, despite rushing her to a vet, the cat died from internal injuries caused by the air rifle pellet.

The cat's distraught owner, who does not want to be named, said: 'Squeak was clearly trying to make her way home and we are absolutely devastated by what has happened. I find it absolutely disgusting that someone has shot at an innocent animal, it is so cruel and irresponsible.'

Animal charity the RSPCA is investigating the attack and inspector Ben Kirby said: 'We are extremely concerned by this incident and it is absolutely vital that if anyone saw anything suspicious or knows of anyone shooting at animals in the area that they come forward with information.

'People cannot be allowed to get away with causing such awful injuries.'

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Those found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal can face a maximum six-month prison sentence, and/or a �20,000 fine.

The RSPCA received 205 reports of cats being shot in 2010. It is believed this is just the tip of the iceberg as many attacks go unreported and some owners don't even realise that their pets have been shot.

In the summer, a five-year-old cat called Hope survived despite being peppered with more than 30 shotgun pellets in the Great Walsingham area near Fakenham.

At first it was thought that Hope had been attacked by a dog because she had puncture wounds across her body.

But x-rays carried out at All Creatures Healthcare Ltd in Norwich showed that she had been peppered by around 30 shotgun pellets.

And in September the death of five cats in Caister prompted the RSPCA to warn pet owners to be vigilant because it was suspected they had been poisoned.

The shooting of Squeak happened on Saturday, November 19, between 7.30am and 9.30am in Pyehurn Mews, Taverham.

Anyone with information should call the RSPCA on 0300 1234999.

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