Anger as pet cat loses eye and has jaw shattered after being shot with air gun

Pet tabby cat Rocket laid on front with right eye missing and left eye almost closed, perched on jeans on owner's stomach
-Credit: (Image: RSPCA)

A pet cat has been left blind on one side after being shot in the face with an air gun. Rocket, a ten-month-old tabby, was shot in the Hartington Avenue area of Carlton on Bank Holiday Monday, May 27.

The pellet lodged in his brain and cannot be removed - meaning that, while still alive now, it is uncertain whether he will remain healthy. His jaw was also shattered and broken in addition to his right eye needing to be removed by a vet, after the vile attack.

Rocket's owner Emma Gordon said: "I was devastated when I found out. The vet thought it was a thorn that had caused the damage. But they spotted the path of an air rifle pellet at the back of his eye socket. At first, we were shocked and in disbelief. But now we're just angry.

"We're worried about Rocket’s future. His well-being is very uncertain. We’re also very concerned that there’s someone out there deliberately targeting animals and we really don’t want any other animal or owner to go through this terrible trauma.”

So far, the RSPCA, which is investigating, says there have been no leads in the search for the person responsible. The charity says it is hoping anyone with new information may now get in touch.

Nearly 1,000 animals are subject to air gun attacks every year, the RSPCA says. The charity is now also renewing calls for better education and explanation of the law being given to anyone who buys an air gun.

RSPCA Inspector Keith Ellis said: “It’s understandably been very distressing for Rocket’s owners to learn that their cat has been shot and it has caused considerable pain to him. Every year the RSPCA receives almost 1,000 calls to investigate cases and help hundreds of animals that are the victims of air gun attacks.

“Cats and wildlife are the animals most susceptible to being shot simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them. Sadly, air gun attacks are not rare and the injuries caused can be horrific and often fatal. We want to see a world where every kind of animal is treated with compassion and respect and deliberate and brutal acts of cruelty should be consigned to the past.

"We continue to call 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.”

Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.