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Cruel yobs shoot cat in the eye in Findon Valley
Unlucky tabby cat Oscar lost an eye after being shot with an airgun near his home.
X-rays taken of the injured pet also revealed he had another pellet lodged in his chest from a previous attack.
His owners Amanda and Steven Leadbetter are now warning neighbours to be on their guard and keep an eye out for their pets.
Three-year-old Oscar was discovered badly hurt and covered in blood at the bottom of the garden in Sullington Gardens, Findon Valley, Worthing, last Wednesday.
He was rushed to the vet, who discovered he had been shot through the centre of his eye, which had then ruptured.
During an operation to remove the pellet and the eye, vets discovered the second pellet but they were not sure how long it had been there.
It was not causing Oscar any problems so they have left it where it is.
Mrs Leadbetter, 36, said: “It was horrible to see him so badly hurt and we thought at one point he might not make it.
“It was obviously very distressing and upsetting but luckily he is recovering well.
“The problem is that we don't know whether he was simply unlucky or has been deliberately targeted twice. “He was limping about a week before he was shot in the eye so he may have been hit then.
“We are by the countryside and people shoot rabbits in places where Oscar likes to wander.
“It could be just bad luck that he was hit twice by someone doing that but it is a bit suspicious, especially as he was hit right in the eye.
“It seems more likely that it was deliberate and that is just a horrible thing to do.
“If someone has done this then they need to be found and people need to be aware of what is going on. It is bad enough that it happened to Oscar but if people are messing about with airguns like this, they could end up badly hurting a child or anyone else.”
Oscar is due to have his stitches out on Saturday and is doing well.
The incident has been reported to Sussex Police and the RSPCA is also appealing for information.
RSPCA inspector for the Worthing area, Steve Wickham, said: “Poor Oscar has clearly been deliberately shot, not once but twice. “This is a criminal offence and has caused Oscar huge suffering.
“We would like to hear from anyone with any information on who shot Oscar.”
The Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service has put up a £500 reward for information that leads to a conviction.
People can call Sussex Police on 101 or the RSPCA appeal line on 0300123 8018.
The family have also set up a Facebook page called “no to cat shooting.”