Finchampstead cat loses leg after thugs’ air rifle attack
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.”