A LEIGH pet owner is warning folk to be vigilant after callous thugs shot one of her cats with an air rifle.
Pepsi, a tabby white 18-month old female cat, was shot through one of her front legs in an attack near her home in Butts Bridge last week.
The wounded feline was taken to the vets, where an X-ray revealed the pellet lodged in her limb. and now has to spend around eight weeks in a small cage at her home to allow the injury to rest and heal.
Pepsi’s owner Stacey Barwick, of Bow Road, is now urging other pet owners to be very careful when letting their four-legged friends wander outside in the area.
Stacey, 34, said: “It shattered her ulna so she must have been in agony. She’s on strong painkillers and calming tablets, and she’s now got to stay in a little cage.
“She’s such a friendly little cat, all the kids and neighbours round here love her, but there’s obviously someone who doesn’t and other animal owners should just be careful.”
Stacey says Pepsi’s injury has had a devastating effect on her family, with partner Paul Stead, 27, their two children Amelia, seven, and Dylan, 13, cat Jasper and Staffordshire bull terrier Texas all being upset in some way by the incident.
Stacey said: “Amelia can’t understand why Pepsi’s locked up in a cage and she can’t pick her up, Dylan understands what’s happened and he’s angry.
“Jasper and Pepsi are inseparable, he keeps wandering around crying and then going to the cage to look at her.”
Staff at My Pets Vets in Leigh, who treated Pepsi, also condemned the use of air rifles against pets.
Vet Caroline Purnell said: “Owners need to be aware that this is happening in the area. Shooting like this is extremely cruel, and animals do suffer greatly and often have serious injuries if they survive the attack.”