THE family of a cat who was shot in the leg by an air gun thug say they are “beyond angry” and want to warn the public.

Dawn Worsfold, from Hurst Street in Leigh, says she was “disgusted” after returning home and learning from her mum that their 14-year-old cat Maverick had been found bleeding.

He had been shot in the leg – with the pellet narrowly missing his bone.

Dawn and her mum Susan, 69, have paid just short of £360 to help injured Maverick. Now they are warning other cat owners in the area.

Dawn, 38, said: “We have 11 cats after recently adopting Maverick from his original owner nearby.

Leigh Journal:

“Many of them do go out and on Sunday, June 7 a relative said she could see him on the street covered in blood.

“My mum brought him in and cleaned him up and thought he’d maybe been attacked. We took him to My Pet Vets, and that’s when he was X-rayed and it showed that he had been shot with an air rifle.

“We were beyond angry because this is not the first time this has happened around here and we know he was shot in the head a few years ago.

“We are disgusted that anyone could do this to one of god’s creatures. If you don’t like an animal, there is still no excuse to shoot them.

“He’s recovering now and has nipped out just on to the front but he’s very fearful and different now; the person who did this should be ashamed.

Leigh Journal:

“He’s lucky that pellet didn’t hit his leg bone. He’s used up most of his nine lives now that’s for sure.

“If anyone knows anything that could help us please get in touch with the Leigh Journal and let them know so they can pass it on, I wouldn’t want anyone else going through this.”

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear about this incident which must have been very distressing for the owner of this pet and it is truly shocking to think this cat has gone through this horrific ordeal twice.

“We would always urge anyone whose cat has been shot to report the matter to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 .

Leigh Journal:

“Every year the RSPCA receives almost 1,000 calls to investigate cases and help hundreds of animals that are victims of air gun attacks.

“It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals. These are deliberate and brutal acts of cruelty.

“Cats and wildlife are normally the animals that are more susceptible to these incidents simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them. Unfortunately, air rifle attacks are not as rare as we would like. The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal.

Leigh Journal:

“We are calling 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.

“These weapons cause horrific pain and suffering and it is illegal. Anyone caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal can face up to six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.”