A Sutterton family are “devastated” after their pet cat had to be put down after being shot.
Freddie, a 12-year-old tabby, suffered fractured hips and pelvis, a torn rectum (part of the intestines), nerve damage and a severed tail after he was shot with an airgun near his home last Thursday.
Freddie was beautiful on the outside and inside which is why everybody in our family are so devastated
The cat’s owners, who asked not to be named, said Freddie was “beautiful on the outside and inside”, adding that relatives from as far away as Australia had been in touch since his death.
A family spokesman said: “We called Freddie in on Thursday and it looked like he’d broken his leg because he couldn’t walk properly. Then we saw blood coming from the back of his leg and his tail looked a bit sorry for itself, so we rang Sutterton Veterinary Surgery and took Freddie to be checked over.
“The vet stabilised Freddie with painkillers but he was worried about a couple of things and when he did an x-ray, he found our cat had been shot, which changed everything. Freddie had a fractured pelvis, nerve damage and his bladder wasn’t working.”
The decision to end Freddie’s agony was taken by the surgery’s senior vet David Feldmar who revealed that the cat had previously recovered from a broken left leg.
Mr Feldmar said: “Freddie was in shock when he came into our surgery on Thursday and from his injuries, I would guess that he had been shot as the large calibre airgun pellet had fractured his tail and smashed his right hip, causing nerve and anal passage trauma in the process.
“The impact damage to the bones was fixable, but the nerve damage caused there not to be any bladder function at all and his rectum had been torn through by bone and metal fragments from the pellet.
“Whilst it was felt that Freddie might be treatable for each of the issues, collectively it was felt kinder to put him to sleep.
“The saddest thing was that Freddie had previously managed to get over breaking his left leg after a metal pin had been fitted.”
Freddie’s family have received messages of support from friends and strangers alike who have posted their feelings of sadness and anger on social media website Facebook.
One message from Elwood, Briggs and Turner Veterinary Surgery, Kirton, read: “Someone must have seen this or knows the person responsible and I hope they realise what terrible trauma they have caused Freddie’s family.”
This is the third case of an airgun shooting involving a cat that the Guardian and our sister newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press, has reported on in the last six months.
Four-year-old ginger and white cat Alfie was shot while out in Whaplode in July, less than four months after Pip (two) was shot outside her home in Spalding. One of Freddie’s owners said: “He was one of those cats that would lie on you but also like to have his own space as well.
“Freddie was beautiful on the outside and inside which is why everybody in our family are so devastated.”