Warning over air guns after cat shot in face

Dora, after her recovery

Dora, after her recovery

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A pet charity is calling for stricter restrictions around the sale of air guns after shot cats admitted to the charity’s animal hospitals almost doubled in the space of a year.

A Blue Cross volunteer foster carer in Langley Park, County Durham, was shocked when vets examined one-year-old homeless cat Dora and discovered an airgun pellet lodged in the side of her face. It isn’t known how long it had been there.

Dora was found with her litter of tiny kittens fending for themselves on a nearby farm. She was brought to Blue Cross by the farm’s owner and will be cared for with her litter until the charity finds a new home for her.

She has since also taken two more young kittens under her wing who were found alone in a local yard. Although not in any pain, vets will remove the pellet from Dora’s face once her kittens are weaned.

Alison Thomas, Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Blue Cross, said: “The rise in shot cats we’ve admitted this year is very worrying. Some of these have been cats in a great deal of pain and needed intensive emergency care. Air gun pellets can be very serious and the damage to internal organs and bones can mean amputation or even death.”

Blue Cross wants a review into current age restrictions on air gun ownership and the permission of where and why they are used. The charity will closely monitor new legislation in Scotland where a licence is needed to own an air weapon.

To find out more about Dora and other cats being fostered by Blue Cross in County Durham, or about becoming a volunteer foster carer for the charity visit www.bluecross.org.uk.

Show your #suppawt for Blue Cross to help change the story for sick, injured and homeless pets. Text SUPPAWT to 70907 to donate £5² or visit www.bluecross.org.uk.