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Sniper shoots pet cat

PUBLISHED: 18:55 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:25 03 July 2010

STILL ON THE MEND: Thomas with owner Janet Chilvers

STILL ON THE MEND: Thomas with owner Janet Chilvers

Liz Coates

A cat that was shot by an air rifle sniper could have been killed, its horrified owner said this week.

The attack has already cost Janet Chilvers, of Lucerne Road, Bradwell, almost £400 in vets' bills as she nurses the pet back to health.

A cat that was shot by an air rifle sniper could have been killed, its horrified owner said this week.

The attack has already cost Janet Chilvers, of Lucerne Road, Bradwell, almost £400 in vets' bills as she nurses the pet back to health.

Seven-year-old Thomas was shot in the side, piercing his diaphragm and damaging his kidneys and liver.

This week, Norfolk police pledged tough action against anyone firing air guns in a public place.

Thomas became target practice among the well-tended gardens of the Cornfields Estate, shocking neighbours.

Mrs Chilvers said: “He was being sick in the garden. I went to see him and I noticed a bit of red and I thought he had cut himself. I got some tissues but they were quickly soaked so I called the vet and they took an X-ray. When they told me he had been shot by an air rifle I could not believe it. Everyone is so shocked.”

She added that the affectionate pet was still poorly, and the experience has made her nervous about letting her other cats out.

A police spokesman said: “The area which causes most problems and concerns for firearms officers is the irresponsible use of imitation weapons, replicas, BB guns and air weapons. We regularly receive reports from members of the public who have seen these weapons openly displayed or used in an inappropriate manner and have to react to the information given.

“Something as innocent as a child's plastic imitation gun left in the back seat of a car can cause alarm, so we would urge people to use air weapons safely, appro-priately and in a controlled environment and, of course, in accordance with the law. Imitation firearms should not be used, or left, in public view.”

Mrs Chilvers, a carer for her mother, was keen to warn people and also to appeal for any information, which can be reported to the police on 0845 456 4567.

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