A FAMILY cat had to be put to sleep after it was shot with an airgun on a Sheffield street.
The 14-year-old cat, Hobbes, was roaming around outside his home on Pitsmoor Road, Burngreave, when he was hit.
His owner Emily Tredoux, who had the cat since he was a kitten, discovered he had been shot when she took him to an emergency vet when he started struggling for breath.
An X-ray showed an air pellet which had passed through the back of his neck, through his lung, grazed the heart sac and shattered his sternum.
The cat was unable to be saved because of the extent of his injuries and was put to sleep.
Emily said: “My cat came home with a small puncture wound I took to be a cat bite. I cleaned it up and sat stroking him for a while as he was looking very sorry for himself.
“Later that afternoon, his breathing began to get a bit ragged and I took him to the vet. She gave him a painkiller and sent us directly to the emergency vet. They X-rayed the cat and found the pellet. “It had passed through the back of the neck, through his lung, grazed the heart sac and shattered the sternum. There was nothing that could be done to save his life and we had to have him put to sleep.
“This act of cruelty not only took my cat’s life and had him in extreme pain, but has devastated our family. He was my companion for 14 years – I would fall asleep to him purring away on the bed beside me. He would wake me up I the morning nuzzling me and he would lay on the couch with a paw stretched out touching me. He trusted humans and we failed him.”
Emily, who has reported the incident to South Yorkshire Police and the RSPCA, urged anyone who knows who had an airgun in Burngreave on Saturday morning to come forward.
She said: “I am hoping it was children playing about with airguns who accidentally shot him, rather than being a deliberate act of cruelty. ”
n Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.