A mother-of-two has spoken of her shock after her beloved pet cat lost an eye after being 'shot with an air rifle' in Sussex yesterday (Friday, December 22).
Kay Turner, of Valentines Lea in Northchapel, near Petworth in West Sussex, said she was at home with her teenage daughter in the afternoon when her cat Maisie returned to the house 'dripping blood everywhere'.
Maisie's eye had been wounded, but Kay said: "I didn't know what had happened."
She rushed Maisie to the vet, who said the pet had been 'shot through the eye with an air rifle'.
"The vet said it could be touch and go," said Kay.
A major operation succeeded in removing the pellet - but Maisie's eye was beyond saving and had to be removed, Kay said.
Fortunately, Maisie is expected to recover, and Kay confirmed: "She's going to be OK."
The family believe it was a 'malicious attack' and Kay said: "She didn’t deserve this. It makes you wonder what the mentality is of some people to harm a defenceless animal."
She describes Maisie as 'a beautiful young black rescue cat' and said: "She's scared of people, she wouldn't ever approach anyone."
Kay is now warning others to 'be vigilant' and said: "I want to make people aware that it's happened."
She said the incident was not 'a great Christmas present' but said: "Fortunately she survived, someone else may not be so lucky."
The incident has been reported to the police and the RSPCA, as well as SNARL, an animal rescue centre.
A police spokesman said: "We received a report of a cat having been shot with an air rifle while out in a field near its owners house in Valentines Lea, Northchapel, Petworth.
"It is believed to have happened between 1pm and 2pm.
"Anyone with information about the incident is asked to report details to police online at https://sussex.police.uk/appealresponse or phone 101, quoting serial 948 of 22/12."