A cat owner says she was disgusted to find her pet had been shot with an air gun, one of two felines shot in Kettering in recent weeks.
Michele Thrower first spotted Charcoal limping at the start of October, and when she made no signs of recovery took her to the vet.
By then the shooting wound had healed, and vets initially believed the cat had simply pulled a muscle.
But after showing no signs of recovery, Charcoal was taken back to the vets, where an X-ray revealed a pellet lodged inside her shoulder.
It is believed the animal was shot somewhere near her home, around Kettering Town’s old football stadium in Rockingham Road.
“She had that in her leg for three weeks,” said Michele, who also runs Corby and District Cat Protection. “I was a bit shocked. It’s something that happens to other people.
“Anything that anyone does to an animal makes me really cross. I can’t see how they can do something like that to a living creature.”
Vet Chris Willis, from Vets4Pets, added: “The pain and suffering caused to this cat by the callous actions of irresponsible individuals is totally unacceptable. We are hopeful that Charcoal can make a full physical recovery.”
Police have confirmed they had been carrying out house-to-house enquiries following the incident, but were hampered by not knowing exactly when it took place.
In a statement, a spokesman added: “We would ask if anyone saw someone with an air weapon, or heard one being fired, to contact us.”
Meanwhile Vets4Pets in Kettering have confirmed another cat failed to survive injuries sustained when it was hit by a vehicle.
Vets believe that animal had also been shot then run over when it tried to escape.