Chegwin, 12, has leg amputated after being shot with air rifle

Cat shot

Chegwin had to have his leg amputated after being shot with an air rifle in the foot - Credit: Danielle Rudge

The owner of a 12-year-old cat shot with an air rifle said the pain he was in "ripped her heart out" as they rushed to save his life. 

Christine Rudge was told her cat Chegwin would need to have surgery to remove his leg or be put down. 

The incident happened at around 2pm near Kennedy Avenue, in Halesworth on January 7.

Christine said Chegwin ran into the house crying and she spotted a red circle of blood on his foot.

Cat leg amputated

Chegwin likes to go out hunting - Credit: Danielle Rudge

Initially, she believed he had broken his foot, but it soon became apparent it was much worse. 

"He was in so much pain it was heartbreaking, it ripped my heart out," said Christine.

She took him to the vets, who couldn't help him while he was awake as he was in too much pain so he had to be sedated.

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Three out of four bones in his foot had been broken by a metal pellet, which was still in the foot, fired from an air rifle.

Christine was told they wouldn't be able to fix them and was offered the choice between having his leg amputated or having him put down.

Though it would cost about £3,000 to do so.

Chegwin the cat

Chegwin is named after Keith Chegwin - Credit: Danielle Rudge

"They didn't give me a lot of time to make a decision, fortunately, I have amazing friends," Christine added.

"A couple of my friends between them put the money upfront to pay the bills."

Now over a week later, Chegwin is "doing really well", and becoming much braver in moving about despite no longer having his back right leg.

"He's using his stump as a balance to stand up straight, he's getting better.

"I can't wait for Monday in the hope that they take of his little hood off because that's driving him potty."

She thinks it may have happened near to her home, but can't think why someone would shoot a cat.

A Suffolk police spokesman said: “Police received a report of a cat injured in Halesworth on Kennedy Avenue in Halesworth.

"It took place on Friday January 7 at about 2pm with the cat suspected to have been shot in the foot.

"This would have been highly distressing, both for the cat and its owner so if you know who was responsible please contact police, quoting crime reference 37/1525/22.”

Christine's daughter Danielle, set up a GoFundMe for her mum to help cover the bill and to raise awareness, she said: "If we can catch who is responsible for it, all the better."

If you would like to help, visit: gofundme.com/f/help-mum-pay-her-vet-bill.

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