Hunt is on for ‘heartless’ Speyside air-gun thug

Air gun attacks on animals are increasing
Air gun attacks on animals are increasing

POLICE IN DUFFTOWN are hunting a heartless thug who shot a family pet with an air gun causing it to have a leg amputated.

Family pet cat Spartacus had to be rushed to a vet on Friday when he returned home with part of his leg hanging off – it was later found that the animal had 11 air gun pellets embedded in his head and body.

Spartacus’s owner Ashleigh Paterson said she was “devastated” at how anyone could show such cruelty to an animal. She told the P&J how she heard her pet crying at the back door to their home in Kininvie Court, Dufftown on Friday: “I started screaming and shouting for my partner.

“As we went to the vets in Aberlour we assumed he had been hit by a car – he had to have his right leg amputated. I was absolutely devastated – then when the vets gave him an X-ray they discovered that someone had been shooting at him. He had over 11 pellets embedded in his head and others throughout his body.”

Ashleigh is now urging anyone with information to help police in tracking them down, adding: “How anyone can be so cruel is beyond me – I completely understand some people don’t like cats but what happened to Spartacus just made me sick.”

Well over 1000 air gun attacks are being reported to police every year in the UK causing horrific injuries to pets and wildlife. Earlier this year John Blackwell, President of the British Veterinary Association, said: “These findings are distressing for both owners and vets.  Anyone using an airgun, whether they are an adult or child, should be aware of the very serious injuries these weapons inflict and parents should act responsibly when allowing any young person to use or possess an air gun.

“Whether the perpetrator is an adult or child, it is blatantly wrong to shoot indiscriminately at cats in this way.”

A police spokesman confirmed that they were aware of the circumstances of the attack and investigations were under way to find who was responsible, asking the public to come forward with any information they might have.