A family has been left heartbroken after yobs shot dead their beloved pet cat.
Pumba the cat was shot with an air rifle in the Holme Slack area of Preston on Tuesday night.
After he returned home owner Katie Pickering noticed that he was barely moving.
After a closer inspection, the cat lover discovered he’d been shot and rushed him to the vet, where he had to be put down.
Devastated owner Katie, from Lily Grove, said: “We are in shock, we can’t believe it. He was part of our family.
“I think it is absolutely disgusting that someone could do that to a helpless animal.
“At about 6.40pm I noticed he hadn’t moved off the chair. He was trying to get down but half his body couldn’t move.
“He was paralysed from the spine downwards. We discovered he’d been shot and we rushed to the vets.”
When 30-year-old mother-of-four Katie arrived at the emergency veterinary surgery Vets Now in Moor Lane, Preston the vet told her Pumba had been shot with an air rifle.
She said: “The vet set they couldn’t get the bullet out because it was lodged in his spine. So he had to be put down.”
Lancashire police confirmed they are investigating the matter and urged anyone with any information to get in touch.
A spokesman said: “It is unclear the location of where the cat has been injured and we’ve not been able to establish exactly what type of instrument has been used to injure the cat.
“Anybody with information can call us on 101 quoting log number 716 of July 9.”
Pumba has grown up with Katie’s other cat Simba and she said the cat is lost without his friend. She said: “It is so wrong that someone is going round shooting pets.
“Some people just don’t care about animals. Some people are just vile.
“The thought that someone has an air rifle round here is not nice.”