THE Scottish SPCA has launched an investigation after a cat was found injured after being shot with an airgun pellet in Elgin.
The animal welfare charity is also appealing for the owner of the black and white male cat, discovered injured last Thursday in the town’s Forbes Court, to come forward.
The injured feline was taken to a local vets following the airgun attack by Animal Rescue Officer Peter Boulton. An airgun pellet was removed from the cat’s shoulder and he is now recovering in the care of the Scottish SPCA’s Highlands and Islands Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Inverness, where he has been nicknamed Melvin.
Mr Boulton said: “Thankfully, the pellet doesn’t seem to have caused any lasting damage but this is yet another example of a defenceless animal being injured as a result of airgun misuse.”
He claimed: “This incident only highlights why the Scottish Government should implement the licensing of airguns as a matter of urgency. The new licensing regime should ensure that only those with a lawful reason are allowed to possess such a dangerous weapon. It will also allow the police to trace anyone using an airgun irresponsibly.”
Mr Boulton said: “Melvin has suffered quite an ordeal but he’s a lovely friendly boy who’s doing well in our care. In addition to being shot, Melvin is also very underweight which the vet has advised may be linked to a hyper thyroid problem.
“Unfortunately, Melvin isn’t microchipped and there were no contact details on his collar. If he has gone missing, we’re sure his owner must be very worried and we would really like to return him to the comfort of his own home while he recuperates.”
He added: “If no-one comes forward for Melvin, we will find him a new home once he has made a full recovery.”
Cat trapped in Edinburgh
Meanwhile the SSPCA is also appealing for information after a cat was found in Edinburgh with severe injuries to his paws, consistent with being crushed in a trap.
The seven month old tom cat, named Sid, was discovered outside his home in Duddingston Avenue on Saturday night. He was rushed to a vets but was so badly injured that he had to be put down to end his suffering.
Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, “The vet who examined Sid said that the injuries to his paws were consistent with being crushed in a spring trap.”
He continued: “While spring traps are legal, they must be set correctly to prevent non-target species becoming trapped or injured. If Sid did come to harm in a spring trap, it would appear it was not set correctly, which would be an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
“Sid would have been in tremendous pain and this is a tragic outcome. His owners are understandably devastated and they are desperate to understand what happened to their much-loved pet.”
Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.