A cat is recovering after being shot with a pellet gun in Islandmagee in County Antrim.
Louie the cat's owner says her pet is lucky to be alive
The animal's back leg was shattered in the attack and had to be amputated.
The incident happened on Wednesday night and the kitten is recovering at a vet's surgery.
Appealing for information, the USPCA's David Wilson said it was a completely callous act and such attacks were usually carried out by children.
"Parents buy these guns and very irresponsibly hand them over to kids. They take them out and turn them on any moving target they can find," Mr Wilson said.
"Some people will know who is causing this problem and they should be reported to the police, Crimestoppers or the USPCA."
Louie the cat's owner said the incident was "absolutely awful".
"We've only just moved here, my mum's lived up there for 13 years, and nobody has seen anything like this before, it's absolutely horrendous," she said.
"Whenever I laid him down I noticed the hole in his side - it was just a perfectly round hole."