Both family's cats shot in matter of days in Plymouth
POLICE are appealing for witnesses after two pet cats belonging to the same owner had to receive vet treatment when they were both shot with an air rifle.
Owner Louise Martin rang the police after both incidents happened within seven days of each other – the latest on Sunday.
But it's not the first time cats living with owners in Dennis Close have been shot with what is believed to be an air rifle.
Louise moved with her husband, Steven, daughter Samantha and two cats to Barne Barton in October.
The family had moved from Sennelager, in Germany, after Steven finished a six-year posting with his Army unit, 5 Scots.
Whilst in Germany they bought the two cats as family pets but moved back to Plymouth after Steven left the Army with 25 years under his belt.
In the time between buying the house in August and moving in during October, Louise said her sister-in-law and her cat were living in the property.
"While we were still in Germany my sister-in-law stayed at the house so it wasn't lying empty," she explained.
"Her cat, Tigger, was shot in the back-end and before that the previous tenants of the house said their cat was shot in the head."
It was on January 27 that the first of the Martin family's cats were shot.
The 36-year-old said: "We'd been redecorating when our boy cat Freddy came into the house. He'd been jumping around and then went back out the cat flap when we noticed there was blood on the fridge."
Steven then went outside and caught six-year-old Freddy to find "blood pouring through his hands".
At this stage the family thought he had been in a fight before finding the pellet entry hole.
Vets found the pellet lodged inside the cat's thigh but were forced to leave it in place because of the proximity to the sciatic nerve.
Having reported it to the police, Louise added: "We were still angry but we left it. Then, on Sunday, our other cat, Phoebe, came running through the flap and all I could see was her mouth covered in blood.
"I thought she must have caught a nail, it was the exact same hour Freddy came in the week before and we thought it couldn't be the same again. Then we saw the through wound."
Vets confirmed Phoebe had also been shot, and although the pellet was not still inside her, fragments were scattered through the wound.
"We're mad. It's now taking all my time to keep my husband in here. My daughter had been out tapping doors but nobody knows anything. I can't believe someone would do this."
Both cats have survived leaving the family with £500 worth of vet bills.
Barne Barton neighbourhood PCSO Mark Sowden said: "We had some very similar issues 12 to 18 months ago in the same area and we are concerned that these reports have come into us again.
"We are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information to contact us."
To contact the police in relation to these incidents call 101 and quote either ED/13/508 or ED/13/653.