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The RSPCA is appealing for information after a stray cat had to have his eye removed after he was found with four airgun pellets lodged in his head.
The domestic longhaired black and white tom cat was picked up by an RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) on Saturday 8 January on Newton Road in Newton, Hampshire.
The cat was taken to the RSPCA veterinary clinic in Southampton on Monday 10 January. After an examination it was revealed he had four airgun pellets embedded in his head, one of which was in his left eye.
The eye was later removed.
All the pellets have now been taken out by a vet and the cat is currently being cared for at the RSPCA Stubbington Ark animal shelter in Fareham where staff have named him Minstrel. It will be a while before he is fully fit and he is not yet ready to be rehomed.
Minstrel had no collar or microchip when he was found. The RSPCA are appealing to anyone who knows what may have happened to him or know who he belongs to.
RSPCA inspector Charlie Eyden who is investigating said:
"This poor cat was lucky to survive and this attack is distressing for everyone involved. I can't comprehend why anyone would want to cause harm to an animal in this way.
"He was found in a terrible state and now has to live with only one eye and lasting injuries because of this cruel attack. I urge anyone with information to contact us immediately. We are keen to trace his owner as someone could well be missing him."
Vanessa Eden, Fundraising Manager at the RSPCA Stubbington Ark animal shelter described Minstrel as being very friendly.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the RSPCA cruelty and information line on 0300 1234 999 and leave a message for inspector Eyden. Calls are treated in confidence.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 anyone found guilty of causing suffering to an animal can face a £20,000 fine, and/or up to six months in prison.