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Horrifying X-ray shows cat has pellet lodged in its spine after airgun attack

Vets tell Ruby's distraught owners that surgery could kill her as pellet is so close to her heart

Ruby underwent emergency surgery to remove the pellet - but vets have had to leave it lodged in because it is too close to her heart

A cat has been shot in a sickening airgun attack in Great Sutton.

Shocking X-ray images reveal that Ruby the ginger cat has a pellet lodged in her spine – and vets fear surgery to remove it could kill her because it's so close to her heart.

Dawn Whitfield said she found two-year-old Ruby bleeding on Saturday morning (August 12) and rushed her to the vets.

The incident comes as the RSPCA revealed airgun attacks on animals is set to reach a five-year high this year.

Ruby’s owner Dawn, of St Marks Crescent in Great Sutton said, she is 'disgusted' with what has happened.

“It’s awful," she said.

“I can’t explain how angry and disgusted I am and also paranoid now about her and her brother going out again.”

Dawn said she noticed something was wrong with Ruby when she did not come to greet her in the morning after being let outside by her husband, our sister paper The Liverpool Echo reports.

She said: “When I get up at 8am they usually come out of the kennel, which is in the garden on top of the shed and come down their little ladder and come running in for their breakfast.

“But when I got up on Saturday our other cat Thomas came out of the kennel and came running in but Ruby stayed where she was.

“I didn’t think anything of it at first and just let her stay up there but by 10.30am I knew something wasn’t right as she was still curled up in the kennel.

“So I got the ladders out and climbed up to the shed roof to get her out and she had blood on her shoulder.

“When I carried her indoors and looked at the wound I knew straight away that she had been shot because there was a perfect round hole.

“I rushed her to my vet and he did the X-ray straight away and it showed the pellet inside her.”

Dawn said she has reported the incident to police and is desperate to find out who shot her cat.

She said: “I still feel sick and very, very angry about what has happened.

“We had an amazing police woman came out to the house and she was really saddened and upset too.

“She went and knocked on a couple of the neighbours doors to ask questions and she wants to call back sometime this week to see how Ruby is doing after her surgery.

“During surgery my vet said he could not remove the pellet because of where it’s lying and it would requires specialist surgery which carries a high risk of her dying during it.

“He is hopeful that she will be able to live normally with the pellet inside her.

“She is a living, breathing thing who has a soul and feels pain.”

And today the RSPCA said that the number of reported airgun attacks on animals across the country is soaring - with 470 in the first six months of the year compared with 455 last year.

Inspector Louise Showering of the RSPCA said: “It is difficult to understand how anyone could carry out these mindless attacks on innocent animals and we are backing calls for stricter regulations around owning an airgun.

“This, along with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun, as well as requirements that everyone must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk out of the shop could help relieve the problem.”

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