RSPCA Probes Series of Mystery Air Rifle Shootings of Cats in Hornchurch, Essex

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The latest victim underwent surgery to remove a pellet from her stomach.

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was critically injured when she was shot in Hornchurch.

The tabby cat, called Milo, was hit in the leg and a 4.5mm steel bullet penetrated her stomach. She is one of three cats who appear to have been shot by air rifles in the same area of the town.

The two-year-old survived a one-and-a-half hour operation, which saw part of her intestine removed.

The shootings have taken place in Plumpton Avenue and the animal charity is urging anyone with any information to come forward to help find the perpetrators.

Milo was shot between 10am and 2pm on August 24, while the incident involving one of the other cats, Fleur (pictured below), who was shot in the face, took place in the same location several days before.

Another cat is also believed to have been shot with an air rifle in the same road earlier in the year.

RSPCA inspector Chris McGreal said: “These are disturbing incidents and we are concerned they are going to continue unless something is done.

“There is someone shooting cats in this area and we would appeal to anyone with information to come forward and contact the RSPCA. Two cats have been shot in recent weeks and one earlier in the year.”

Fleur managed to remove the pellet, which had embedded in her face, when she was cleaning herself and did not require veterinary attention.

Milo’s owners thought their cat had been bitten when they first took her to the vets. But when she remained poorly, she underwent an x-ray (see scan), which showed a pellet had passed through into her abdomen.

She has made a good recovery after her ordeal, but remains on bed rest.

The Metropolitan Police has been informed of the incidents and is investigating. The force’s incident number is 5415248/22.

Anyone with any information about the incidents can also contact the RSPCA appeals line number on 0300 123 8018.

In Essex, there were 292 reports of intentional harm against animals made to the RSPCA last year (2021), placing the region in the top ten most cruel counties.


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