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22 March 2013, 16:00
The owner of a young cat in Hemel Hempstead said she's been left upset and devastated after her pet was killed.
Beth Simmonds says her 18 pet cat Maggie went missing last Monday; it was her mum who found the body of the 18 month-old in bushes when their pet dog discovered something unusual near their home.
Speaking to Heart, Beth says her mum immediately noticed Maggie's was missing her tail - and when she went to pick-up the body, her ear was also missing: "It's sick that someone could do this to our pet. We took Maggie to the vets to check out a wound to her chest too - and the vet told us it looks like she had been shot, probably with an air-gun at point-blank range".
Beth added "How many other animals are the people responsible going to hurt and how long before that's not enough and they look for other ways to get their kicks, they're very sick. The person who did this need to be caught. I know people may think it's just a cat - but Maggie was part of our family."
We let our cats out, but constantly check on them and call them back in after a short time we're paranoid it'll happen again. From the stress of what happened, I had to take some time off work and I couldn't sleep properly.
It's a horrible thing to happen to us, and even our other cats and our dog have picked up on what's happened and they're not behaving as they did before."
Hertfordshire Police has told Heart they are investigating and if anyone has information which can help them or the RSPCA to find out what happened, or who is responsible, call 101 from a landline and "quote crime reference number D1/13/1564".