Family fear cat killer on the loose near Huddersfield as beloved pet 'shot dead'

A family have been left 'absolutely heartbroken' after their family cat was allegedly shot dead last week.

And they say it comes just two years on from the same thing happening to their previous pet. The family lost Loki, an all-black cat, after he was believed to have been “shot by an air rifle" last week.

It is thought to have happened either on Wednesday, April, 15 in the Mirfield area of West Yorkshire. Loki was only six months old and had been with the family since he was a kitten.

The cat’s owner, Kimberley Gibbons, 34, said: "Last Wednesday we were calling Loki in, he was an outdoor cat like all of our cats have been.

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"He could be quite brazen, sometimes he came in and other times he wasn't bothered, it was nice and warm out so we didn't think too much of it but then he didn't come in for his tea which was unusual.

"Later on my husband spotted him lying out in the rain, he was limp, my husband originally thought he might have been ran over. He seemed to have matted blood on his side, when I got home from work I shaved the area to investigate and there was a hole on his side, a perfect circle, just like what happened with our other cat Ginger two years earlier.

"We rang the vet and insisted he had an urgent appointment and told them that we thought he had been shot. The vet could tell straight away something wasn't right, his temperature was really high, she put him on fluids and some pain relief and we were told we had to leave him overnight.

"I got a phone call about 7.30am. They said they had put him under and opened him up to have a look inside and they had found a pellet lodged inside him, there was just too much damage caused to his organs and they had to put him down there and then. We were heartbroken.

"My children (aged 6 and 8) are absolutely devastated. The kids were so upset and obviously it brings back memories of Ginger, they've had to have two days off school because of it."

Kimberley told Yorkshire Live: "With Ginger it was around two years ago, similar circumstances, it was quite warm outside and he'd been out for a while.

"He eventually came in and it was my husband that said 'there is something wrong with Ginger', at first I thought he had been poisoned because there was a lot of that going on in the local area at the time.

"It was difficult to see at first with his fur but we found a perfect circular shape that had gone into his lung, he died instantly, it was all in the space of a couple of minutes.

"My kids were there too and witnessed it, it was devastating, Ginger was only 3 at the time, he was very loving. We all adored him he was a huge part of the family."

The mum-of-two added: "You don't expect something like this to happen once let alone twice! The kids are devastated all over again.

"We're not letting the other cats out now, it's too risky, we've had to reintroduce the litter trays, I want more people to be aware of it, whoever is doing it is obviously not realising that they are family pets, they see them as pests but they are a part of our family.

"I think it's somebody who doesn't like cats in their garden and think it's acceptable to shoot them to get them out of the garden.

"It's very scary, for someone to target innocent animals, you don't know who else or what else they are targetting. My daughter was saying 'I don't want to get shot mummy', its awful."

Asked what advice she would give to other pet owners, Kimberley said: "Be vigilant, keep your cats indoors, it's not worth the risk I'm hoping it will save other animals from the same fate as our boys."

The family informed West Yorkshire Police of the first incident with Ginger and are yet to report the second incident.

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