A Waterlooville couple today told of their heartache as it was revealed that more pets are being shot and maimed with air guns.
The RSPCA reported a 16 per cent rise over the past two years in the number of pets being shot by air rifles.
We’re always wondering “Is he going to come back safe?”Cat owner Angela Pearce
It comes despite a new law which makes it an offence for anyone under 18 to buy or hire an air weapon.
It is also now an offence to give an air gun to anyone under-18 as a gift.
Colin and Angela Pearce, from Waterlooville, spoke of their heartache today after their cat was shot earlier this year.
Mr Pearce said: ‘We are all on tenterhooks.
‘We did not worry before’
Mrs Pearce said: ‘We do let him out because he loves to go out.
‘But we’re always wondering “Is he going to come back safe?”.
‘It’s made it harder for me to let him go, really.
‘If he’s not in, I can’t sleep.
‘I keep getting up, twice or three times a night to call him to come in.’
This year there has already been 48 reports of cats shot with air guns compared to 18 over the same timeframe in 2014.
A recent survey by the British Veterinary Association of its members revealed the level of gun crime against cats with four in 10 of its members having pets brought to their surgeries with airgun or crossbow injuries.
The Home Office says although airguns are classed as firearms there is no need for a certificate to have one.