Fareham cat Simba the tabby left 'in critical condition' after being shot by air-rifle with couple offering £100 award for information

A COUPLE in Fareham are appealing for help after their beloved pet cat Simba was shot with an air rifle leaving it in a critical condition.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 4:55 am

Joshi and Surbhi Cole let out their two cats – Shadow and Simba – from their home in Somervell Drive on Sunday morning, with a severely injured Simba returning just a few hours later.

Usually the playful tabby would spend the entire time outside, but the stricken feline returned home bleeding from the mouth.

Surbhi, a German-language teacher, said: ‘The cats go out in the morning at about 8.30am.

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An X-Ray image taken of Simba after the incident. Picture: Joshi Cole

‘They are out all day and they come back in the evening.

‘But (Simba) came back in about 11.30am and he looked really really poorly.

‘He was looking really sorry for himself.

‘And then he threw up blood. We called up our vet immediately.’

Caption: Joshi and Surbhi Cole, Simba's distraught owners.

The couple couldn’t believe the source of the problem after a vet at Animed Shedfield veterinary hospital told them that an air-rifle pellet had been found inside their pet.

Surbhi said: ‘They said it was a really shocking – they hadn’t seen anything like it.

‘It missed the lung but it had hit the stomach and the intestines. It’s also hit the liver.’

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Simba the tabby from Fareham was in a 'critical condition' after being shot by an air rifle. Picture: Joshi Cole

The pair have informed both the police and the RSPCA – and now they are offering a £100 reward for any information that may lead to a successful identification of the culprit.

Joshi said: ‘We know the exact location where he was because we have a GPS tracker fitted.’

It is believed that Simba was shot near the Uplands Primary School playing fields.

Surbhi said: ‘He’s such a friendly cat. He goes into the school and plays with the children.

Caption: Simba the tabby from Fareham was in a 'critical condition' after being shot by an air rifle. Picture: Joshi Cole

‘Some of the girls from the school cried when they heard the news.

Joshi added: ‘The thing is we live right next to a primary school – our biggest concern is that if it hits one of the kids, it could do a lot of damage.’

Simba remains under observation at the vets, while the couple face a £1,500 veterinary bill.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have witness anything suspicious in the area.

A spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We received a report on Sunday, November 28 that a cat had been allegedly shot at using an air rifle and severely injured.

‘It is reported that the incident happened at around 10am on Sunday morning around Somervell Drive or Morshead Crescent in Fareham.

‘Were you in the area at the time? Did you see what happened? Perhaps you have CCTV footage around the time of the incident?’

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call 101, quoting reference number 44210477790.

The couple hope that Simba makes a full recovery – and that the shooter understands the impact of their actions.

Surbhi said: ‘What are they thinking? It’s almost like shooting someone’s child.’

Joshi added: ‘They need to give up their gun to the police, because they cannot be trusted with it.’

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