Fin­champ­stead cat loses leg af­ter thugs’ air ri­fle at­tack

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By JAMES HAST­INGS

PET own­ers are be­ing urged to back a change in the law on air gun own­er­ship af­ter a cat lost a leg in an at­tack.

Ca­role Valette from Fin­champ­stead was hor­ri­fied when a vet told her five-year-old Frosty had been shot.

An X-ray showed a pel­let lodged near Frosty’s hip which meant his leg had to be am­pu­tated.

Now the an­i­mal char­ity, Cats Pro­tec­tion, is ask­ing bor­ough pet lovers to sup­port their pe­ti­tion for stricter laws on gun own­er­ship which is also backed by the RSPCA.

A dis­traught Ca­role told ITV News: “I rushed Frosty to the vet’s when I no­ticed blood on his fur and that he was limp­ing.

“Who would do such a thing? We are so sad and dev­as­tated that such a mon­ster lives nearby.”

It is thought the cat had been shot with an air ri­fle near Nine Mile Ride in Fin­champ­stead, be­tween Heath Ride and Kiln Ride ex­ten­sion.

He was taken to the 24-hour Nine Mile Vet­eri­nary Hospi­tal who re­ported the in­ci­dent to the po­lice and the RSPCA.

A clinic spokesman said: “Imag­ine our shock and anger when an X-ray re­vealed he’d been shot.

“Sadly, the bul­let shat­tered his fe­mur and to­day his leg was am­pu­tated. If any­one has any in­for­ma­tion please let the po­lice know. Our thoughts go to Frosty and his fam­ily.”

A spokesper­son for the RSPCA said: “Un­for­tu­nately, we reg­u­larly have to deal with in­jured or dead an­i­mals which have been shot by peo­ple us­ing air ri­fles. The in­juries caused by such at­tacks are hor­rific and of­ten fa­tal.

“Cats and wildlife, par­tic­u­larly birds, are nor­mally the an­i­mals that are more sus­cep­ti­ble to these in­ci­dents sim­ply be­cause they are out in the open with no one to pro­tect them.

“We are sup­port­ing calls for tighter con­trols on air weapons. This, along with bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pla­na­tion of the law when buy­ing an air gun, and re­quire­ments that ev­ery­one must re­ceive ba­sic safety train­ing be­fore be­ing al­lowed to walk out of the shop could help re­lieve the prob­lem.”

Cats Pro­tec­tion is ask­ing pet own­ers to sup­port a change in the law on air gun own­er­ship in Eng­land and Wales.

Cats Pro­tec­tion’s Ad­vo­cacy & Gov­ern­ment Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Madi­son Rogers, said: “Cats Pro­tec­tion sadly hears of in­ci­dents of cats be­ing shot with air guns, like Frosty, all too of­ten.

“In 2017 there were 164 cats re­ported as be­ing shot with an air gun in the press and cru­cially 90% of these at­tacks were in Eng­land and Wales.

“This is also likely to be an un­der­es­ti­mate of the num­ber of in­ci­dents tak­ing place as many at­tacks never get re­ported.

“Air gun at­tacks on cats not only cause ter­ri­ble in­juries or even death to the cats but also re­sult in grief and an­guish to the own­ers as well as fears in the lo­cal com­mu­nity for the safety of pets and peo­ple.

“The char­ity is cam­paign­ing to make it il­le­gal to own an air gun with­out a li­cence to pre­vent these lethal weapons fall­ing into the wrong hands.”

“Re­cently Cats Pro­tec­tion de­liv­ered a pe­ti­tion to No 10 Down­ing Street signed by over 110,000 sup­port­ers, call­ing for the li­cens­ing of air guns in Eng­land and Wales.

“The pe­ti­tion is still live and can be signed by vis­it­ing www.cats.org.uk/air­gun­spe­ti­tion

“The Gov­ern­ment is still to an­nounce its next steps fol­low­ing their re­view of air gun li­cens­ing.

“I hope Frosty makes a speedy recovery.”

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