AIRGUN thugs shot a cat dead in the latest in an alarming spate of attacks.
Hemingway, a two-year-old cat, was taken to Companion Care veterinary practice at the Great Northern Retail Park after being shot in the back on Poplar Street.
X-rays, below, showed a pellet had punctured his kidney. He died despite efforts to save him.
Surgery staff are now warning pet owners to be on the look-out for attackers.
Veterinary nurse Tracey Lowe said: “It disgusts me. These are someone’s pets and the people who are doing it don’t realise how much damage it can cause.
“They might think it’s a laugh, but it’s not funny.”
This week’s fatality came two weeks after another cat was brought in with an airgun pellet in his hind leg.
Two-year-old tom Niche, who lives with 23-year-old Klyne Allert and his family on Browning Road in Deighton, had been missing for two days before he was found with a wound.
Klyne said: “He had dried blood on his leg and couldn’t put any weight on it.
“I think it’s probably kids with ball bearing guns. I’ve seen a few others cats limping around.”
The surgery treated Niche but could not remove the pellet. Bills for his treatment ran to £200.
Tracey said another cat had been brought in with a shattered leg bone after being shot about two months ago.
Martin Patterson, partner at Donaldson and Partners veterinary practice in Aspley, said his practice saw similar injuries on a fairly regular basis. “It’s just senseless cruelty,” he said.
“When a cat is just out patrolling its territory, for it to be a target for these people is mindless.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said anyone found to be carrying out such attacks faced prosecution for firearms offences and animal cruelty, which carry large fines and potential prison sentences.
A spokesman for the animal charity Peta said: “We are urging residents to keep a watchful eye on their companion animals and to keep them indoors. Because animals cannot report their own abuse and can do little to fight back, they are the perfect "practice" victims for those who tend towards violence.”
Dog owners are being warned about the dangers of daffodil poisoning. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea. Affected dogs should be taken to the vet immediately.