A woman from Lisburn was left devastated after her 13-year-old cat Tilly was killed by a pellet gun.
Michelle Hunt’s pet cat was shot twice with a pellet gun in a sickening attack on Sunday afternoon.
The Lisburn woman had left the cat outside her Lady Wallace Brae home at Thaxton Cottages while she visited her mother.
Sometime later at around 4.30 she got a call from her partner to come home. He found the cat bleeding very badly.
When Michelle arrived home she discovered the cat bleeding from the mouth and nose and coughing up blood.
“It was just horrific,” she said. “I have never seen anything like that in my life.
“She’s black and white and her whole chest was covered in blood. There was blood over her nose and mouth.”
Michelle brought it to the vets at Sloan Street, who at first was puzzled as to what happened the cat.
They believed the cat had been attacked in a vicious fight and said they wanted to keep the feline in to observe her.
Michelle rang the vet at Sloan Street the following morning to see how her beloved pet was. She had been x-rayed and it was then, discovered all was not what it seemed.
She had been shot twice in the mouth by a pellet gun. A pellet was lodged in the roof of her mouth and one of her teeth smashed.
The vet was confident the cat would make a full recovery and she was placed on a drip.
However, around 12.30pm, the vet rang to say they had to resuscitate the cat twice and was now fighting for survival. They placed a tube down her throat to allow her to breath.
The vet said she was stable and they would continue to keep an eye on her but by 2pm when Michelle rang again for an update she was told the cat was brain dead and showed no response to life.
At around 4pm, the vet later rang to break the devastating news that her beloved cat had died.
“I was totally heart broken.” said Michelle. “She was my family pet for 13 years. I could not understand why or how anyone would do this to my pet. She was part of the family.
“Tilly did not deserve this. Not only was she shot once, but twice. Why?
“You can imagine I was beyond annoyed and have been broken hearted every since. I am so devastated. I cannot believe how anyone could be so callous and cruel.”
When the story went online on the Ulster Star Facebook page up to 1500 people liked and shared the story.
“I will do everything I can to bring whoever did this to my cat brought to justice,” said Michelle. “If it was an air rifle, whoever carried this out did so illegally. I have been told by the police that whoever is found guilty of this will be charged with both criminal damage and intent to endanger life.”
Michelle who hopes to get her cats ashes in the next few days, said she was delighted by the response of the story.
She asked, “If they can do this to an animal what can they do to a child? This is very worrying.”
A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Says No To Animal Cruelty said, “We at NISNTAC are absolutely outraged and completely saddened by the deliberate act of cruelty inflicted on this poor defenceless cat.
“However, we are not shocked that cases like this keep occurring. Animal cruelty will continue in this country until the agencies tasked with animal welfare start taking a more vigorous, proactive approach to investigation and prosecution.
“It will also continue as long as the law courts keep handing out meaningless sentences that do not act as any type of deterrent to committing this type of crime.
“NISNTAC will continue to work vigorously to bring about the changes needed to ensure that our animals are offered complete protection by the agencies tasked with looking after their welfare and that more appropriate sentencing is handed out; so that cases like this become a rare occurrence in the future.”