Family devastated as boy, 10, finds pet kitten shot dead in garden

A family from Telford have spoken about the loss of their much-loved kitten who died after being shot with an airgun.

Marley
Marley

The RSPCA has issued an appeal for information and reported the death of 10-month-old Marley to the police after the loved kitten was found dead in the garden under the family’s trampoline on October 23.

Marley never went out of the home in Ardern Avenue, Dawley, for long and had last been seen the previous morning, but when he failed to come back as usual his family were concerned that something was wrong.

Margo Ayres, Marley's owner, said: “We’d had Marley since he was five months old. He was quite an anxious character, so he would normally go out and come straight back in again. When he didn’t reappear for the rest of the day I started to fear that something might have happened.

"My 10-year-old son went into the garden the next morning and saw him lying under the trampoline. At first we thought he was asleep, but when we got up closer we realised he was dead.

Marley's X-ray

“He was a massive part of our family and I struggle to understand how anyone could even begin to think of harming an animal in this way.”

Mrs Ayres noticed a thick patch of blood on Marley’s fur, and on closer inspection, a pellet hole was found underneath. An X-ray taken by a vet later confirmed that the kitten had been shot.

RSPCA inspector Claire Davey is investigating the incident, which has also been reported to the police.

Marley

She said: “These senseless shootings leave families like Margo’s absolutely devastated, and we would urge anyone who knows anything about what happened to Marley to get in touch.

“We're continuing to call for stricter regulations around owning an airgun, basic safety training for owners and a thorough explanation of the law - including outlining our legal obligations towards animals.

"All of these measures could help protect animals like Marley from such callous attacks in the future."

More than 180 incidents of animals being targeted with air weapons have been reported to the RSPCA so far this year.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line, in confidence, on 0300 123 8018.

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