Cat shot by air rifle less than 18 months after sister was killed in similar attack

A COUPLE has been left stunned after their pet cat was shot by an air rifle last night - 14 months after a similar incident killed its sister.

Bella returned to Gary Tustin and Sarah Rust’s home in March last night limping and struggling to breathe after being shot in The Walnuts, off Elwyn Court.

Mr Tustin said: “Bella is at the vets and she may survive. The vets are checking to see if she has suffered any intestinal damage.

“Surgery may be required but that won’t be known until the vets know the full extent of her injuries.”

Last year Bella’s sister Sugar died after being shot with an air gun 15 minutes after being let out of her home.

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Sugar was rushed to a vet after the shooting on February 17 and an X-Ray revealed she had two lead pellets in her body - one in her abdomen and the other in her back leg.

Sugar was not strong enough to survive and died at the surgery.

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Mr Tustin said: “My partner is devastated. After what happened to Sugar last year she grew a very close bond with Bella.

“We found Bella at 9.30pm limping and struggling to walk and breathe. We called the vet straight away because we knew what had happened - she was in exactly the same state as Sugar was last year.”

The RSPCA received 201 reports of cats being shot in 2011. A spokesman said: “It is believed this is just the tip of the iceberg as many attacks go unreported and some owners don’t even realise that their pets have been shot.”

Police are investigating the shooting. Anyone with information should contact 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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