A family is calling for action after their pet cat died after being shot with an air rifle.
Sarah Graham found her two year old Bengal cat Isla, collapsed and covered in blood under a car in Stockbridge Close, Clifton.
She had gone out at around 6pm the previous evening.
Sarah said: “My partner found her under a car, she had tried to get herself home but didn’t make it.
“Initially we thought she had been attacked by a dog and were really shocked when we found out she had been shot.
“It’s so upsetting to think someone deliberately did this to her and that she must have suffered. I’ve got two other cats and I’m scared to let them out now.”
Isla was rushed to the vet where an X-ray revealed she had been shot in the stomach causing fatal injuries and she could not be saved.
They later found out from a neighbour that she thought she had heard a gun shot at around 6.30pm on July 10, half an hour after Isla was last seen.
RSPCA inspector Cherry Evans, who is investigating, said: “This was a cruel and cowardly attack on a lovely cat, leaving her owners devastated.
“We want to hear from anyone who saw or hear anything which might help us find out who did this to Isla.
“Under the Animal Welfare Act, if someone is caught deliberately using an air weapon to injure an animal, they could face a £20,000 fine and/or up to six months in prison.
Anyone with information about this attack can report it by calling the RSPCA inspectorate line on 0300 123 8018 and leaving a message for Inspector Evans.
RSPCA figures reveal that almost 800 air rifle attacks were reported to the charity in 2012, an increase of 40 compared to 2011 (759).
In a report in July 2013 the RSPCA said ‘shocking’ figures show that for the first six months of 2013, 438 reports had already been received.
There were fears the overall figure for 2013 was set to increase again as the majority of air weapon attacks happen in the summer months with an average of 60 reports received by the RSPCA each month between April and August in 2012.
The majority of the reports involved wild birds, but cats were the second most targeted animalTo help the RSPCA investigate cases like this text the word HELP to 78866 (texts cost £3 plus one standard network rate message).