Sheffield pet owners warned after cats are shot

Cruel attack: Ashley Thornton with pet cat Ben, who lost an eye after being shot with an airgun. Picture: BARRY RICHARDSON
Cruel attack: Ashley Thornton with pet cat Ben, who lost an eye after being shot with an airgun. Picture: BARRY RICHARDSON
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A YOUNG couple are warning pet owners that a yob is shooting cats in a Sheffield suburb.

Two pets belonging to Ashley and Bethany Thornton have been shot with airguns in the space of just four months.

The couple, who live on High Matlock Avenue, Stannington, had to take their seven-year-old cat Ben to the vets in March when he lost his eye after being shot.

And now their younger cat Roxy, aged five, has had to undergo surgery, losing a kidney after it was punctured by a pellet.

Ashley, aged 29, an account manager at insurance firm Aviva, said: “It’s not nice. We live in a nice neighbourhood, but this is pretty nasty.

“When the vets operated on Roxy, they found another pellet that had healed over, so she had obviously been shot before and we just didn’t notice.

“People need to be aware of what is happening – there is someone out there shooting cats.”

Police are investigating and have told Ashley and Bethany they believe the shootings have been taking place close to their home.

Bethany, 28, an HR assistant at Irwin Mitchell law firm, said: “We’ve lived here for a year and it’s a lovely estate.

“But there’s a potential cat killer on the loose.

“The cats don’t wander far, so it must have been close.

“It is horrific. It has been terrifying seeing what damage this person has done.

“We’ve both had to take time off work to take the cats to the vets and we’ve been worried sick.

“The veterinary care has cost £2,500, but luckily we’re insured.”

Ashley said: “I suppose the message is make sure you have pet insurance.

“This could have been very expensive otherwise.

“The police have been knocking on doors and asking neighbours questions.

“They want to know if anyone else has a pet who has been injured in this way.”

n Anyone who has information about the shootings, or has a pet that has been shot in Stannington, is asked to call police on 101.