TWO cats have been gunned down – with one ‘tortured and killed’ – as a spate of shootings in Portchester leaves pet owners horrified.
Felines are being targeted in the area by ‘sick and twisted individuals’ believed to be armed with air rifles or high-powered BB guns.
The news has sickened the community with residents now demanding action to track down those responsible before they strike again.
The latest cat to have been shot was discovered dead in a field on Monday, after having gone missing at the end of October.
The pet, a one-year-old Bengal male called Timmy, was dumped in a black bag off Pigeon House Lane, near Portsdown Hill.
Timmy’s family has since told of their horror over the killing. A 23-year-old, of Widley – who asked not to be named – said: ‘We’re devastated. Timmy was like part of the family.
‘He disappeared about three weeks ago. Then someone found him dead in a bag.
‘He had been seriously injured and at first we thought he had been hit by a car.
‘But he had been shot. We think had been beaten first and then shot.
‘We suspect someone tried to take him thinking he was worth a decent amount of cash but then they tortured him and killed him.
‘To think that people can be so cruel to an innocent creature is horrendous.’
The killing comes just days after a second cat in Portchester was shot with an air rifle.
Carole Stockley’s beloved pet, Blossom, was attacked while walking close to the family home in Rockingham Way on November 4.
At first, Mrs Stockley, 68, and her husband Tyrone, 73, had no idea of her pet’s injury.
They took the cat to Portchester Vets, in White Hart Lane, who thought that it was suffering from an abscess.
But a later exam revealed Blossom had been shot in the side, with the pellet still lodged close to its spine.
Grandmother-of-eight Mrs Stockley said: ‘I felt absolutely devastated. I couldn’t understand why or how it could have happened.
‘It’s sickening to think someone shot my cat. It’s twisted. I think whoever has done this definitely has problems.
‘What worries me is that if they’re shooting animals and getting away with it they could go further.
‘They need to be caught and stopped.’
Veterinarian Trudy Langdale, who works at Portchester Vets, said Mrs Stockley’s cat could have died.
‘She had an airgun pellet wound on one side of her flank,’ she said. ‘The pellet was lodged in the other side. It had gone right the way through without hitting anything vital.
‘Wounds like these are horrible injuries. They can kill. She was one lucky cat.’
She is now urging people to be ‘more vigilant’ and report any suspicious behaviour.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: ‘This is a shocking incident and we’d encourage anyone with information to please contact us on 0300 123 8018.
‘Unfortunately, we regularly have to deal with injured or dead animals which have been shot by people using air rifles. The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal. Cats and wildlife, particularly birds, are normally the animals that are more susceptible to these incidents simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them.
‘It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals. People need to remember the devastating consequences that shooting at animals with air guns can have.’