POLICE in Scarborough are hunting the thugs who shot a cat.
Two-year-old tabby Boris was hit in the foot by a lead pellet and has been prescribed painkillers, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories by vets.
He may now have to have a toe amputated.
A police spokesman said: “This is an appalling crime against a defenceless creature.”
When Boris returned to his owners, Kev and Julia Lawrence, of Ling Hill, Newby, they thought their pet had been bitten by another animal.
However after taking him to Swanzdale Vets in Scalby Road for treatment, they were informed that Boris had in fact been shot and had pieces of lead and bone loose in his lower leg.
He has already had one operation to remove the fragments, and could face an amputation later this week, depending on the results of an X-ray which will reveal the extent of the damage.
“He is a lovely little cat, but he hasn’t been himself since it happened,” said Mr Lawrence. “He’s just been doped up on painkillers and is looking a bit lost.
“We thought it was an animal bite at first – he came in meowing his head off.
“I can only presume someone has done it for their own amusement. I would say to them just imagine if this had been your animal and how angry and upset you would feel.”
Mr Lawrence also issued a warning to fellow pet owners in Scarborough.
“If people see their animals injured they might not be aware that a human may be responsible,” he added. “We were all taken aback when they said he had been shot.”
The shooting of Boris is the latest in a spate of animal cruelty cases in Scarborough. Earlier this week, the Evening News revealed two-year-old dog Ruby was pushed out of a moving car and wished ‘good luck’ before her owners sped off.
Last month three men broke into the Sea Life Centre in Scalby Mills Road and chased penguins in their enclosure, leaving the animals alarmed and frightened.
Police have released CCTV images of a man they want to speak to.
Anyone with information can contact police on 0845 6060247, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.