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Pet cat shot in the head in Newbury

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Police appealing for witnesses to "cruel" shooting

Police have put out an appeal for witnesses after a pet cat was shot in the head on a Newbury street last week.

Otis, who is 18-months old, was walking near his home at Pond Close on June 15 when his owner’s mother Lorraine Cladingboel noticed something was not right.

Ms Cladingboel told Newbury Weekly News: “It was about a quarter to eight in the morning and he came walking in and he was just really agitated and wobbling.

“I saw he had a cut on his face and when I went near him he went absolutely mad.

“We went to the vets and they said he had been shot in the head.

“I just thought how can somebody do something like that, just shoot a cat in the face?

“We have been here for 26 years and never heard of anything like that. We are only a little close. It’s a really quiet area, with lots of pets and animal owners.

“It’s just senseless. I know people don’t like cats because they do get into people’s gardens, but to do that to something just beggars belief. It’s cruel.”

RSPCA spokesperson Sara Howlett said: “Unfortunately, air rifle attacks are not as rare as we would like. The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal.

“It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenseless animals.

“We are calling for tighter controls with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun, and that everyone must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk out of the shop.

“We would also like to remind people that the penalties faced, if caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal, can be up to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.

“We would urge anyone with information about what happened to Otis to contact the police or the RSPCA Inspectorate Appeal Line on 0300 123 8018.”

While Otis is now recovering after being treated by vets, Thames Valley Police are also appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A spokesperson said: “Between 6am and 8am on 15 June offender(s) have injured a cat with an air gun in the area of Pond Close.

“If anyone has information about this incident please contact the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101.”

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