Cat shot in neck with air rifle in Huyton, Liverpool

Polly X-ray Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The air rifle pellet very nearly severed Polly's spinal cord, the RSPCA said

A cat has been shot in the neck with an air rifle in Liverpool.

Nine-year-old Polly was targeted in the Liverpool Road and Tiger Court Business Park area, in Huyton, on 23 November before 13:00 GMT, the RSPCA said.

She was taken to the vets by her owners after she returned home walking abnormally and bleeding.

A pellet was found lodged in the vertebrae of her neck, which the RSPCA said could have been fatal, and she underwent surgery.

'Horrific pain'

She is now in a stable condition.

RSPCA inspector Claire Fisher said: "The pellet was only 5mm away from severing her spinal cord. Polly must have suffered terribly, but in some ways she has had a lucky escape.

"Many cats shot in this way are fatally wounded and do not survive."

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Polly's owners went to stroke her and felt that her fur was wet and realised it was blood

Insp Fisher added: "Anyone caught deliberately using an airgun to injure an animal can be given up to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act."

Anyone with information is asked to call the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

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