“Who could do this?”

X-ray of a cat who died after being shot with an air rifle. The pellets lodged in the animal's spine.
X-ray of a cat who died after being shot with an air rifle. The pellets lodged in the animal's spine.

A schoolgirl has been left deeply upset after her cat was shot and left paralysed and had to be put to sleep by a vet.

Max, the two-year-old pet of Mia Smith (11), was found paralysed in a neighbours garden in the Wimblington Road area of Doddington last Tuesday (September 3), he was taken to Amical Vets in March where it was initially thought he had been hit by a car.

Max was identified by an identity micro-chip and Mia’s dad Jim Smith gave the go-ahead for x-rays to be taken and for the cat to be hospitalised.

Vet Dr Nick Valley was shocked to discover Max had an air rifle pellet lodged near his spine when he carried out the x-ray and due to the extensive injuries this had caused, Max was put to sleep on humane grounds.

RSPCA inspector Jon Knight who took Max to the vets said: “It’s often an emotional job having to deal with sick and injured pets but when the animal is suffering in such a terrible way due to the malicious actions of an individual it makes it all the worse.

“This cat was one of a litter of four kittens rescued by myself two years ago. I have the utmost sympathy for the owners of Max but I also feel personally involved.

“Wanton cruelty of this nature against a loved and cared for pet will not be tolerated. People found guilty of offences of cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 could face a fine of up to £5,000 and/or imprisonment up to six months.”

Mr Smith said: “My daughter is distraught. She lives with her mum and I got her the kitten so she could play with him when she came to stay with me. She was upset enough when she thought he had been run over, but she is even more upset now she knows he was shot.

“I have already paid out over £200 in vet bills and I don’t know if there is more to come. I have an upset daughter and no cat. Whoever did this deserves to be seriously punished. I can’t understand who would do such a thing.”

He also warned other cat owners in the area to be on their guard.

Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300-1234999.