Wokingham Today

Children distraught after cat murdered by air gun pellet


A DISTRAUGHT family from Wokingham have launched an appeal to catch whoever murdered their cat.

At some time between 7am and 8am on Friday, March 16, Roy, a medium long haired grey tabby was hit by an air gun pellet while out for a walk close to his central Wokingham home.

His owners said he came in meowing in pain and they took him straight to the vet, but despite an emergency operation, he died the same day.

Alan Burns said that the incident has really upset his children who loved the twoyear-old cat.

He has created a poster to help try and track down the culprit, which will go on display in the area around Westende School, close to where they live.

In it he said: “My son and daughter are distraught and inconsolab­le as he was their pet and they doted on him, now a major part of their life has been torn from them by this callous and irresponsi­ble individual.”

He told The Wokingham Paper: “Roy was shot between 7am and 8am last Friday morning as this was the time he came in meowing in pain and bleeding.

“We took him to the vet as soon as possible and the vet pointed out the hole in his side and the fact he was oozing stomach fluid from this.

“Following an X-ray her worst fears were confirmed and she spotted the air gun pellet.

“The pellet had torn through his insides causing trauma to his stomach, bowel and intestines.

“She operated as soon as she could and he appeared to be getting better but unfortunat­ely finally stopped breathing at 4.50pm on Friday afternoon.”

The family reported the crime to the police, who told the family that the attack on Roy was an act of criminal damage and could see the attacker jailed.

The RSPCA and Thames Valley Police are now investigat­ing the attack, which is the 53rd to be reported in Berkshire over the past five years.

The RSPCA is calling for mandatory licensing of air guns in England and Wales, following the lead of Scotland.

David Bowles, RSPCA assistant director of external affairs, said: “The RSPCA has long been calling for stricter controls over air guns as well as better education and explanatio­n of the law for those buying one. Our 24-hour cruelty hotline receives hundreds of calls every year reporting air gun attacks on animals.

“Animals can suffer horrendous injuries and often die as a result of air gun attacks. These weapons are potentiall­y extremely dangerous for people as well.”

Last year, the RSPCA received calls alleging attacks on 519 wild birds, 341 cats, 125 wild mammals and 111 dogs, among others. The penalties faced if caught using an air gun to injure an animal can be up to six months in prison.

Mr Burns has asked that anyone with any informatio­n should call Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting reference 4318008073­9.

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