Family's anguish as pet cat shot dead in West Norfolk village
A West Norfolk family have been left “heartbroken” after their 11-month-old cat was fatally shot with an air rifle in a village this week.
Karen Brock, of St. Germans, woke up on Tuesday morning to find the family cat Casper was subdued and not looking well.
After taking the cat to the London Road vets, Miss Brock and her 20-year-old son were horrified when x-rays showed a pellet was lodged inside the animal.
They had been expecting the injuries to be caused by a car accident, so it was a shock to discover an air rifle attack was the cause.
The extent of the nerve damage meant the vets could not guarantee Casper would survive even with an operation.
The cat also had significant damage to his spine and was therefore put to sleep.
Miss Brock said: “We can’t believe someone has shot him and it has devastated us, and hit us hard as he was a big part of the family.
“How on earth can they explain why they would do something like that to an animal? Whatever goes through their mind to cause an animal so much pain and distress?
“He must have been suffering so much until we got him to the vets. It is just so cruel and callous even if you do not like animals. He managed to drag himself home when he could easily have been left in a ditch just lying there for hours.”
The cat was named after animation character Casper the Friendly Ghost and was Miss Brock’s son’s first cat. She said Casper followed him everywhere, and her son has been left “upset and frustrated” that someone would shoot his companion.
Casper was found to have severe peritonitis and nerve damage so the family with vets agreed he should be euthanised.
Miss Brock added: “As far as we know, we have no enemies so I have no idea whatsoever about who did this. Quite a lot of the neighbours knew Casper well. He was inquisitive and would sit on their floor but he was not a naughty cat.
“Normally he would have been very bouncy in the morning, and would come straight up to you and would be rubbing up to you. But on Tuesday, he did not move from under the table and just made a little meow noise so we knew he was not well.”
A statement from London Road Vets said: "He was in shock, painful and had a small wound on his right side. After examination pain relief and treatment for his shock we took an x-ray which revealed he had sadly been shot, leaving an air gun pellet in his abdominal cavity, resulting in life threatening peritonitis.
"Given the seriousness of his condition and the slim chance of him surviving surgery, together with his owners we decided that the kindest decision was to relieve Casper's pain and put him to sleep."
Norfolk Police were contacted regarding the incident and it is believed it took place sometime between 9.30pm on Monday and 7am on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police said: “The owner, who lives in Legge Place, noticed the cat was unwell and vets later confirmed it had been shot with an air rifle.
“Sadly the cat’s injuries were too severe to recover from and the cat was put down.”
Police have said there is not CCTV footage or witnesses at the moment so the case is closed unless new lines of enquiry are found.
Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting crime reference 36/43239/20.