A fox has died after being shot with a plastic arrow in Stoke-on-Trent.
A member of the public saw the animal with the arrow sticking out of his back left leg in Spout Lane and when the RSPCA arrived, he had died, the charity has said.
It has appealed for information and is urging people to call its number.
The charity, which was contacted on Sunday, said it was "obvious" it was deliberate and the "poor animal would have been in so much pain".
RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said there was "very little chance" of the fox overcoming the injury.
She said: "It is obvious that whoever did this did so deliberately and it is disturbing to think that whoever did this was maliciously intending to injure - and possibly kill - an animal."
It was against the law under section 11 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act to kill or take any wild animal using a bow or crossbow, the charity said.
It urged anyone with information to call the charity.