A concerned cat owner is warning Trawden residents to remain vigilant after her pet was shot and nearly killed by an air rifle over the weekend.
Emma Walker, of Church Street, was left devastated on Saturday when she returned from work to find Kitty (1) with a pellet wound in her fur.
By speaking out the 31-year-old, who was hit with a £590 vet bill, is hopeful she can raise awareness in the area and also encourage vital witnesses to step forward.
The animal lover, who lives with her partner Matt, said: “People need to be aware that somebody has got an air rifle and is prepared to use it on animals, and cause immense amount of suffering. I don’t want anybody else’s animals to suffer.
“When I found Kitty she was really unwell and didn’t want me to touch her. She was in a lot of pain.”
Emma, who believes the incident happened somewhere near to White Lee Avenue on Saturday afternoon, took Kitty straight to Stanley House Veterinary Surgery, in Albert Road, Colne, following her 12-hour shift.
Her pet underwent an operation the next day, and is now on painkillers.
According to Emma, had the pellet gone a millimetre further, then it would have gone straight into Kitty’s spine, and she could have been left dead or paralysed.
She added: “I am so angry about it and I am really upset.
“Kitty is still alive, but obviously it has caused a lot of suffering, an operation at the vet, and a lot of money.
“Kitty has been a bit brighter, but she’s not herself. We will be keeping a close check on her over the next couple of weeks.”
Following the shooting, the RSPCA have warned that anybody found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal can face a maximum six-month prison sentence and/or a £20,000 fine.
They added that many attacks go unreported and that some owners do not realise that their pet has been shot.
A spokesman said: “It is absolutely vital that if anyone saw anything suspicious or knows of anyone shooting at animals in the area that they come forward with information.
“People cannot be allowed to get away with causing such awful injuries.”
Police confirmed that they had received reports of Kitty being shot on Sunday morning.
They are also urging witnesses to contact them by ringing 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.