Lucky Leo survives being shot in street

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Aug 30, 2013 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

A FAMILY’s pet cat is lucky to be alive after being shot by an air rifle.

The owners of three-year-old Leo have reported the incident to both the police and RSPCA after having to pay out more than £300 in vets’ bills.

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    Kirsty Simic with Leo the cat.

Kirsty Simic and Steve Mould were told a pellet was lodged just a few centimetres from Leo’s heart.

Dog groomer Kirsty, of Newford Crescent in Milton, said: “I can’t comprehend why someone would want to shoot at an animal. He could have been killed.”

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Leo, who is usually a house cat, went out for an evening prowl on Monday, shortly after 7pm.

Kirsty, who has a three-year-old daughter, Amber, said: “Normally I make sure the windows and doors are shut, but I left one open and he got out.

“He came back at about 9pm. He sat on the window sill crying to be let in.

“He just went straight upstairs and under the bed.”

The couple became concerned the following morning when Leo was limping, and hissed when they tried to pick him up.

“He seemed lethargic, so I rang the vets,” Kirsty said.

“I saw a puncture wound under his leg and thought that he had perhaps been in a fight with another animal.” An X-ray at Endon’s Willow Veterinary Clinic revealed a pellet in the animal’s shoulder.

After the swelling had gone down, vets managed to operate on Leo and he was back at home on Wednesday.

But the incident has left his owners stunned.

“It is worrying that people have these air rifles and that someone has aimed and shot at him,” said Kirsty.

Steve, who works as an electrical engineer, said: “I can understand if people don’t like cats and ‘shoo’ them off, but I wouldn’t expect someone in this area to take a pop at them.”

Kirsty added: “I don’t think we will let him out again after what has happened.

“We have had him since he was a kitten and he’s like a dog at times and lets us pick him up and give him a cuddle. He’s a lovely cat.”

Diane Roberts, spokesman for the RSPCA said: “Cats are often the target of air rifle attacks simply because they are out in the open with no-one to protect them.

“The injuries caused by such attacks sometimes kill and sometimes cause months of painful suffering.

“Whoever carries out these attacks needs to understand that they are doing something illegal and that they will face up to six months in prison if they are caught.”

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: “We urge parents to warn their children against using air weapons.

“They are not toys, and through misuse, can kill, seriously injure or disable.”

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