Rainham cat is third to be shot this month as cruelty ‘skyrockets’


Rocky - Credit: Archant

A leading animal charity has said cat cruelty is “skyrocketing” after a family pet was shot with an air rifle for the third time this month.

The air rifle pellet in Rocky's spine can be seen in this X-Ray

The air rifle pellet in Rocky's spine can be seen in this X-Ray - Credit: Archant

Rocky, six, was found lying in a neighbour’s garden by “devastated” owners David and Carol Crane, of Sexton Close, Rainham, yesterday morning after going missing on Tuesday.

David soon realised his beloved pet couldn’t stand up and rushed him to the vets, where X-rays showed a pellet lodged in his spine.

Though he survived, the wound could leave Rocky paralysed or incontinent.

“I feel completely devastated,” said David, 63. “The shock has been terrible. We’re still suffering.

“We have been physically ill. We’ve neglected ourselves and hardly eaten. I didn’t sleep on Tuesday night. I’d heard about it happening in Essex but not here.”

David had put up posters in his road after Rocky had gone missing at about 2pm on Tuesday. Within 10 minutes a neighbour had called to say he could hear a cat crying in a bordering garden.

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Police are now investigating the crime. Asked what he would say to the culprits, David pulled no punches. “I’d kill them,” he said. “It’s caused uproar with residents round here, they can’t believe it.”

Last week, The RSPCA told our sister paper the Brentwood Recorder that the attacks were becoming “all too often” after a cat named Angel was fatally shot. Earlier this month, another cat, Wilma, was killed after being shot in Ongar.

Celia Hammond, who runs a national animal rescue trust, said the situation is the worst she’s ever seen.

“The amount of cruelty calls we get is rocketing – it’s really alarming. We used to have the odd cat shot when we started 16 years ago, now it’s routine.”

As of April 30 this year there have been 13 air rifle attacks in Rainham and Essex, more than half of last year’s total of 23.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: “It is distressing to think people could take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals.

“We want to remind people deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal can lead to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine.”