A CAT had to be kept in intensive care for 48 hours after it was shot with an airgun.
Five-year-old moggy Milly still has a pellet lodged in her backside after the attack.
And owner Michael Poole, 38, has branded the thugs who did it “the lowest of the low”.
He said: “I was disgusted. To think that there are people out there with nothing better to do with their time than resorting to getting their kicks from shooting innocent animals is beyond belief.
“Whoever did this is the lowest of the low.
“Unless they are caught, who’s to say they won’t do it again?”
Mr Poole and his partner Rosie Browne, who live at Scott Hill, Clayton West, have had Milly since she was a kitten, when she was picked up by a rescue centre.
They discovered her injuries after returning from work on October 12, shortly after 5pm.
Mr Poole said: “It was only when we saw her hobbling up the stairs that we realised something was wrong.
“I picked her up and my hand was covered in blood.
“We took her to Calder Vets in Dewsbury. They cleaned her up and took X-rays and kept her in intensive care for two days because of the pain she was in.
“The worrying thing is they said this is an increasing problem.”
He added: “She’s still limping. It could be a couple of weeks before she’s better, it could be a couple of months, we just don’t know.
“She’s very much an outdoor cat, but the vets have told us to keep her indoors because she can’t look after herself. We’re concerned about her quality of life.”
Karen Chisholm, of charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), said the attackers were “cowards”.
She said: “Animal abusers are cowards who take their own issues out on the most defenceless beings available.
“Mental health professionals have shown that perpetrators of violent acts against animals are more likely to abuse or commit violent crime against people.”
Anyone with information about the incident should contact police on 0845 6060606.