A CAT has had to have one of its legs amputated after it was shot by someone with an air rifle.

Chocolate point Siamese cat Sasha was discovered lying down in the back garden of her owner's house on Dale Street in Leigh.

The five-year-old feline was found by Laura Clarke's son Caleb, seven, as he was letting the dogs out of the house.

The pellet from the rifle had gone through Sasha's right hind leg, shattering her femur, and going into her pelvis.

Leigh Journal:

Sasha after being shot

This only left vets with the option of removing her leg.

Mum-of-one Laura, 30, said: "It is not humane to do something like this.

"I am completely horrified that someone could hurt such a beautiful, friendly cat.

"When Sasha returned home from her operation she has hardly moved, been in a lot of pain and has not been eating.

"Caleb was hysterical and traumatised to find Sasha in so much distress and pain, covered in blood.

"Since it happened he has been checking the doors and windows because he thinks someone is going to come in and shoot him.

"He has also been having nightmares."

Leigh Journal:

Laura with Caleb and Sasha

Sasha is currently back in the vets after suffering an infection.

Laura is appealing for anyone who has CCTV footage in the area to contact police.

She believes the shooting happened between 1am and 7am on Monday.

If you have any information phone police on 101 quoting reference number 98311H/19.

Leigh Journal:

Sasha with Caleb

A Cats Protection spokesman said: “We are extremely sorry to hear about what’s happened to this cat and send our utmost sympathy to the owner.

“Cats Protection sadly hears of incidents of cats being shot with air guns all too often.

“In 2017 there were 164 cats reported as being shot with an air gun in the press and this is likely to be an underestimate of the number of incidents taking place as many attacks never get reported.

“Air gun attacks on cats not only cause terrible injuries, or even death, to the cats but also result in grief and anguish to the owners as well as fears in the local community for the safety of pets and people.

“Cats Protection are calling for the licensing of air guns in England and Wales, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland, to prevent these lethal weapons falling into the wrong hands.”

“In 2018 Cats Protection presented a petition containing 110,000 signatures to Prime Minister Theresa May to press for urgent action to be taken on air guns.”

Leigh Journal:

Sasha with her feline housemates Thomas, left, and Bat

Laura was hoping to take Caleb on holiday this summer but is not sure she can afford it now due to vet bills.

She has set up a crowdfunding page to help her with the costs.

To donate to it click here.

Laura has two other cats Thomas, 16, and Bat, three.