Heartbreak as cat shot in the head twice in sickening air gun attack

The owners of a cat shot twice in the eye with a pellet gun have slammed the “disgusting attack” and say he’s “lucky to be alive.”

Gemma Chick and James Adams were left heartbroken when Kylo returned to his Newcastle-under-Lyme home in a frantic state.

They initially thought he might have been hit by a car but it wasn’t until X-ray pictures revealed the sickening truth.

One-year-old Kylo had been shot in the head twice and had to have his eye removed by Charter Veterinary Surgeons in Newcastle-under-Lyme as a result.

Gemma said: “I was upstairs when I heard my partner shouting: ‘Oh my God, something’s happened to Kylo.’

“I ran downstairs and he was frantically walking around the house with a major trauma to his eye, it was completely red and bulging and we took him to the emergency vets where he was kept in overnight

“His vitals were all over the place and we didn’t know what had happened at that point, we weren’t sure if he was going to make it.

“We were wondering if one of our other cats had caused it but the damage seemed too significant for it to be something like that, we then thought maybe he’d been hit by a car.”

After surviving the night, the couple took Kylo to Charter Veterinary Surgeons the following morning where X-rays were done to check for any head trauma.

The images revealed that he had two pellets embedded deep inside his head and there was no option but for him to undergo surgery to remove his eye.

Head nurse Dan Walklate who has worked at the surgery owned by Willows Veterinary Group for five years was among those who cared for Kylo.

He said: “Kylo came to us the day after the incident and he was treated for shock and given pain relief. At that point, we were quite unsure what had caused the trauma.

“We X-rayed him once he was stable and that’s when we identified that there were two air gun pellets in the back of his eye socket.

“It was quite a shock, it upset a few members of staff, they were quite taken aback by it because he’s such a lovely, affectionate cat and even though he had all these injuries, he was still quite bright which pulled on our heartstrings.

“Kylo had to go to theatre and the vet removed his eye, unfortunately there wasn’t anything more we could do to save it.”

Dan added: “We have seen quite a few air rifle attacks so they’re not as rare as some people may think.

“Most of the time, we don’t remove the pellets, we leave them in place (as in Kylo’s case) unless we can feel them in the skin, but normally they penetrate through a little bit further and taking them out can cause more trauma and injury.

“Air gun injuries can be fatal but fortunately Kylo is one of the lucky ones, he’s been able to survive the operation minus an eye but he’s still alive, although he’s probably used a few of his nine lives.

“He’s making good progress with his recovery but he’s not back to his usual self just yet, we’re hoping he will be pretty soon as cats are resilient and he has youth on his side, but it’s been quite a traumatic experience for him and his owners and ourselves.

“Something needs to be done to stop air gun attacks.”

Gemma and James, who have three cats reported the incident to the police and RSPCA and have made efforts to find out who targeted their beloved pet and warned other cat owners in their neighbourhood.

Gemma said: “We live in a really small rural village on the outskirts of Newcastle, it’s actually a really nice area which makes it 10 times worse, we’d never have expected it to happen around here.

“Our neighbours have all said it’s disgusting and have been kind enough to check their CCTV and ring doorbells, but it seems to me it’s probably happened in a back garden where no-one would’ve witnessed it.

“But for Kylo to have been shot twice, it’s clearly a deliberate act. It’s absolutely vile, you never in a million years think that something like that would ever happen to your cat.”

The 27-year-old added: “We don’t have any kids, our cats are literally our world, we love them to death and treat them like royalty. It’s horrifying

“You feel so responsible for letting them go outside but Kylo’s doing really well and he’s still here and that’s the main thing. He’s been really lucky.”

The RSPCA and Cats Protection have long been calling for a licensing system in England and Wales to help prevent animal attacks.

A Cats Protection petition to license air weapons is still open and can be signed at www.cats.org.airgunpetition.

The RSPCA encourages all members of the public to report cases of suspected misuse of an air weapon against animals by calling 0300 1234999.

Willows Veterinary Group, part of VetPartners, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise through a network of 23 small animal practices, a referral veterinary hospital, an equine hospital and a farm practice, located across Cheshire and into Greater Manchester, North Wales, the Wirral and Staffordshire. Willows is accredited by The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

For more information about Willows Veterinary Group, go to www.willowsvetgroup.co.uk or Facebook @WillowsVetGroup.

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