Trauma for Shrewsbury family after kitten is shot
A horrified Shrewsbury family say they are too scared to let their cat out after thugs shot the terrified animal at close range with an air rifle.
Eight-month-old kitten Hermione was able to crawl home after the attack – with a pellet lodged in her lung.
Owner Debbie Smith and her son Blake quickly realised something was wrong when Hermione started to hang her head and breathe quickly.
But it was only when they took her to the vets that the pellet was discovered.
Surgeons have decided it would be too dangerous to operate and have put Hermione on antibiotics.
Her owners are now hoping Hermione's lung will not collapse after the pellet travelled from the left to the right side of the body.
Mrs Smith today said she had been told by vets Hermione had been attacked with the intention to "seriously maim or kill" her – and has reported the attack to the police.
Mrs Smith, who lives in Belle Vue in Shrewsbury, said: "I got home and my son Blake said that Hermione wasn't very well.
"I went upstairs and she was lying on the bed with her little head hanging down, and her breathing was very rapid.
"I thought she had been hit by a car but her limbs seemed fine, she wasn't eating and I took her to Abbey Vets.
"They called me when I was at work and asked me to come in, because Hermione had been shot."
Hermione had a one centimetre wound in the left side of her body, but there was no trace of the bullet.
Mrs Smith said: "The vet told me it was far too deep for puncture wounds, she had been shot and the person intended to maim her or kill her.
"They believe she was shot in the area as well, because she had managed to make it home rather then crawl into a shed like cats tend to do.
"The X-rays showed that the pellet was in her lung, and they said if they operated she probably wouldn't survive because it was just too dangerous.
"She's now on antibiotics so it's just a matter of waiting and hoping that scar tissue will grow around the pellet."
Veterinary surgeon Diana Jewitt treated Hermione at Abbey Vets, in Holywell Street, and said she was amazed the cat managed to pull through.
She said: "This is not the first time that we have seen an incident like this, despite the fact they are relatively rare.
"It is certainly a challenging thing to deal with and we decided not to remove the pellet because it would mean opening the chest up and Hermione may not pull through.
"She's been an incredibly brave patient and I am amazed that she has done so well."
Mrs Smith has reported the shooting incident to the police, and said her family have been left distraught.
She said: "The people or person who shot her just don't care.
"They haven't thought about the repercussions one bit.
"My son is so upset about what has happened.
"I've had to wrap Hermione in a blanket every night to give her antibiotics, and it's been a really stressful time."
The incident comes only weeks after a cat was shot in Wem, and police are now appealing for witnesses to come forward.
Richard Ewels, spokesman for West Mercia Police, urged anyone with information about the attack to call police on 101 or pass on information anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.
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