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Pet owner left horrified after cat is shot with air rifle

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A Fenland pet owner has been left horrified and facing a hefty vet bill after her beloved cat was shot by an air rifle to the head.

Four-year-old Tilly, who belongs to Chrissie Lee and her family, returned to her home on Eaton Estate in Wimblington, on Sunday September 12 with one eye shut and clearly disorientated.

Chrissie said: “I noticed she had blood around her eye and I tried to wipe it with a tissue, but she wouldn’t let me near it.

Tilly was shot in the head with an air rifle and has lost her eye as a result. (51220192)
Tilly was shot in the head with an air rifle and has lost her eye as a result. (51220192)

“I managed to get a closer look, and decided straight away she needed to see a vet.

“I called Amical in March, which is where she is registered and got through to the emergency service vets in Huntingdon, who told me to take her in.

“I took her there and they had a look and said her eye could be operated on but may still be lost or it could be removed due to the damage.

“She had to stay there for the night to ensure she was stable. As Tilly was registered at Amical the vets in Huntingdon had to check to see if she could be operated on by them or was to go to Amical the next day.

“It was decided that she should go to Amical this morning (Monday September 13) for them to take care of her. She had her op this afternoon and that’s when they found the air rifle pellet in her socket.

“I was speechless when I was told she had been shot.”

Chrissie explained Tilly will be susceptible to infection as a result of the pellet, as lead is poisonous and enters the blood stream in animals very quickly.

The most worrying part of the incident for Chrissie is the fact Tilly, who is all black, does not wander far because she is very shy and doesn’t trust many people. “So I guess this would have been done very local to us,” she said.

The incident has been reported to police but Chrissie is not holding out much hope that the culprit will be caught.

“Who’s going to own up to doing something like this?” she said.

But there is a possibility that someone saw or heard what happened and if that is the case they are urged to call police on 101 or go on line via web chat quoting 35/62038/21.

Chrissie added: “The realisation that someone took a shot and hit her is hard to comprehend.

“It has been tiring and upsetting to think what I thought was initially caused by a cat fight was actually an injury caused by someone who took a shot at my cat, intentional or an accident.

“I’m not sure I would want to let her out again in case they took another shot and she didn’t get home next time.”

A police spokesperson said: “We were contacted on September 13 with reports a cat had been shot with an air rifle in the Wimblington area.

“On Sunday the cat returned home injured and was taken to the vets for treatment, where an air rifle pellet was removed from one of its eyes.

“Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact police via their web chat service https://bit.ly/3vsiYDw or online forms at: https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/Report quoting 35/62038/21.

“Anyone without internet access should call 101 and always dial 999 in an emergency.’

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