A FAMILY pet had to have his leg amputated after he was shot with an air rifle by yobs.
Pedigree former show cat Teddy underwent emergency surgery after the sickening attack.
The Norwegian Forest Cat was hit close to the home where he lives with owner Lorna Cairns in Lichfield Road, Southwick.
Today, Lorna told the Echo how the attack had left her family “devastated”.
The 26-year-old said she realised immediately that something was wrong when Teddy came home, but thought her pet’s injuries must have been the result of being hit by a car.
“He came into the house and he was really wobbly,” she said.
I just don’t want the same thing to happen to anybody else’s pet.Lorna Cairns
“He couldn’t put any weight on his back leg – I knew straightaway there was something wrong.I took him to the vet immediately.”
Lorna initially assumed her pet had been involved in a road accident.
It was only later that the full extent of Teddy’s injury – and the sickening cause – became clear.
“I originally thought he must have been run over but then the vet rang back the same day to say they had found the pellet on the x-ray,” she said.
Teddy’s injury was so serious that there was no possibility of saving his limb.“It had smashed his back leg – there was no other choice but to remove the leg,” said Lorna. She was horrified to discover somebody had deliberately caused Teddy’s suffering.
“I was devastated,” she said.
“I have got two little girls as well and they were even more upset than me.”
Teddy is now home and recovering with the family but Lorna is appealing for anyone with information about the attack to contact police.
“He is back home and he is doing better than I thought he would,” she said.
“I just don’t want the same thing to happen to anybody else’s pet.”
Police are investigating the attack, which happened between 1.15pm and 1.30pm on Friday, February 20.
Any witnesses can contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 783 200215 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.