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RSCPA appeal information after eight-year-old cream cat from Jarvis Lane in Goudhurst is shot in stomach and left to die

A cat crawled under a hedge to die after being shot in the stomach with an air gun.

Ciao, an eight-year-old cream cat, was discovered under a hedge in his back garden in Jarvis Lane, Goudhurst, earlier this month.

A pellet had gone through his stomach and lodged near his liver, slowly poisoning him.

Ciao pictured in happier times
Ciao pictured in happier times

Upon finding him, owner Tina O’Leary rushed him to a vet but died of heart failure after being given a strong sedative to ease the pain.

Today the RSPCA has issued a public appeal for information.

CCTV footage from Sunday, September 7, shows Ciao limping in clear discomfort down a garden path - hours before he died.

Owner Tina said: “It makes me so angry to think about how he must have suffered for all those hours. He must have been in such agony.

“I thought he was dead when I first found him under the hedge, but he howled in pain when I picked him up. I will never forget that sound.

“Someone must have targeted him for it to be such a close shot. I just can’t get my head around it.

“He was such a shy, timid cat too, would never have bothered anyone. It just breaks my heart thinking about it.”

RSPCA inspector Vikki Dawe said: “It sounds like poor Ciao suffered a horrendous - and utterly senseless - ordeal.

“Unfortunately it is not as rare as we would like, as cats and wildlife are more susceptible simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them.

“The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal. These attacks are often carried out deliberately by people who just don’t care about hurting animals or who are deliberately targeting animals to keep them away from gardens.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to 0300 123 8018. All calls will be anonymous.

The RSPCA is a charity and relies on donations.

To donate text HELP to 78866 to give £3. Texts £3 plus one standard network rate message.

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