Reward to find who shot family's pet cat with air gun in Melton
A national animal charity is offering a £1,000 reward after a family's pet cat was shot at close range with an air gun.
The three-year-old cat was rushed to the vets for an emergency operation to remove a pellet lodged in her neck after the callous attack on Melton's Kirby Fields estate.
The cat's owners, Shirley and Arthur Baker, say the cat, named Harriet, is lucky to be alive.
The charity, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) heard about the attack and have offered the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
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The couple, of Anemone Close, found Harriet after returning home from walking their dog.
Mrs Baker, 54, said: "Harriet managed to get up on the bin in our back garden and she was dripping with blood down her right side.
"I could see the wound to the right side of her neck. I thought she'd been attacked by a dog."
The wounded animal was rushed to Oakham Veterinary Hospital where she was put on a drip overnight.
Mrs Baker said: "The vet thought at first Harriet had been hit by a car as her claws were scuffed. But when she saw the lump in the left side of her neck she thought it was a pellet."
An X-ray confirmed it was and Harriet was operated on.
Mrs Baker said: "She's lucky to be alive.
"The vet thought Harriet had been shot at close range, that maybe she'd been up on a wall and scuffed her claws when she came down.
"I don't understand the mentality of anyone who could go out and deliberately shoot someone's pet. Whoever did this should be hung, drawn and quartered in my opinion.
"I don't think Harriet roams from the estate, but my real worry now is letting her out.
"She's definitely not been herself since the attack. She's nervous and seems very subdued.
"I think it's brilliant Peta have put up this reward, it's a large sum of money which might make someone give away the name of whoever did it."
Peta spokesman Ben Williamson said: "It's imperative any community faced with such horrific abuse of animals take measures to find the culprit or culprits and stop the violence.
"Animal abusers are a danger to everyone – they take their issues out on whoever is available to them, human or non-human."
Pc Lee Green, who is investigating the incident, said: "It's malicious and cruel to deliberately shoot a pet cat. At the end of the day it's a family member to someone."
Harriet was found by her owners at about 7.45pm on Wednesday, September 26, and anyone with any information is asked to contact Pc Green, of Melton Police, on 101, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or the RSPCA, in confidence, on 0300 1234 999.
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