COUNTY NEWS: Cat found at Sussex caravan park had been shot twice with airgun
A stray cat who started to get '˜wobbly' on her back legs is being cared for by the RSPCA after vets found she had two airgun pellets lodged in her body.
The RSPCA was called to Coghurst Hall Holiday Park in Hastings on April 9 by a woman who was concerned about a stray cat she had been feeding for a number of years.
RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Claire Thomas responded to the call.
She said: “The lady had been feeding this cat for around four years so each day she visited around dinner time.
“But, over the last month, she had become concerned for the cat as she’d become wobbly on her back legs and seemed to have matted and missing fur.
“She was particularly concerned about the cat’s health and who would look after once she moved out of the area later this month.”
ACO Thomas collected the puss, a black adult female nicknamed Womble, and took her into the RSPCA’s care.
She added: “She was very nervous and staff didn’t want to handle her too much at first so as not to stress her out further.
“The following day she was taken to the vets who did some X-rays and soon spotted the cause of her wobbly legs, two airgun pellets lodged in her knees.
“No wonder she was struggling to walk properly with these pellets stuck in her legs.
“On average, the RSPCA receives 900 calls a year reporting incidents of animals being shot by air weapons. Poor cats, like Womble, are often targeted along with wild animals and birds.
“That’s why the charity is calling for mandatory licensing of airguns in England and Wales, following the lead of Scotland, where owners and users have been required to have a licence since the beginning of last year.”
Staff believe Womble is a stray but have put her profile on PetsLocated and put up posters in the area to see if an owner comes forward.
If she isn’t claimed then, once she is healthy enough, she will go up for rehoming.
If anyone recognises Womble or knows where she comes from, the RSPCA would urge them to get in touch by calling the appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leaving a message for ACO Thomas.
She said: “Unfortunately, Womble does have some health problems so we’re keeping everything crossed that she pulls through and that we can find a nice home for her.”
To support the RSPCA’s work and help officers continue investigating animal cruelty donate by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/give.