Page last updated at 12:45 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 13:45 UK

Owner's plea after cat shot twice

Pippin and a kitten
Pippin is one of five cats owned by Mrs French

An Oxfordshire woman says the shooting of cats must stop after her pet was injured by lead pellets for the second time this year.

Denise French, of Gwyneth Road, Littlemore, said her tabby rescue cat Pippin needed an amputation after being shot in the leg on Friday night.

He still has pellets embedded in his face from when he was shot in February that make him sneeze, she added.

Mrs French said she hoped the publicity would shame the shooter into stopping.

Unfortunately, we see far too many cases of injuries inflicted by airguns every year
Steve Cheetham, RSPCA

Pippin is one of five cats owned by Mrs French.

The cats used to enjoy roaming in scrubland behind her house, but since the second attack she said she had decided to build an enclosure in her garden to keep them safe.

Mrs French, a part-time cleaner for a church in Cowley, Oxford, said she had asked the RSPCA for help to pay her £500 veterinary bill.

The RSPCA and Thames Valley Police have been informed of the shootings.

Prison sentence

RSPCA chief veterinary officer Steve Cheetham said: "Unfortunately, we see far too many cases of injuries inflicted by airguns every year.

"Many of these injuries are fatal, but even those animals who are lucky enough to survive can have their quality of life significantly reduced."

A cat owner in Lower Icknield Way, Chinnor, Oxfordshire, said her pets were injured by airgun pellets for the second time in six months on Wednesday.

Anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal could face a six-month prison sentence and be fined up to £20,000.



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