PENZANCE, UK – A entire family has been left shaken and plain scared after their pet cat was shot and left with life-threatening injuries. The cat was simply out, playing in the family’s garden.
Dave, the two-year-old ginger cat who belongs to the Pinnock family, was struck in the spine by the bullet of an air rifle at around 2pm on Wednesday, March 16, leaving his owners completely devastated and searching for answers.
Kevin Pinnock, 66, witnessed Dave’s reaction after the incident, which took place in Gulval near Penzance.
“I was in the kitchen with the back door propped open because it was a lovely day, when all of the sudden Dave came charging in and crashed against the ironing board,” he said.
“He let out a horrible noise, I had never heard a cat make such a sound before.”
“We did not realize what the problem was – he looked alright but minutes later we noticed he was dragging himself around so we took him to the vets thinking he had dislocated something.”
Mr Pinnock and his wife Sam, 49, immediately took the cat they had bought as a birthday present for their 11-year-old son, Matthew, to Rosevean Veterinary Practise for X-rays.
It was there that a vet made the shocking discovery that Dave had been shot.
Kate Lethbridge, a surgeon who dealt with Dave when he first came in, said: “When we first saw him it was a bit concerning, he was weak on his back legs and had a non-functional tail which will still need to be amputated.”
“Initially a bullet wound never crossed my mind, I had not seen this in my career before, but he is responding really well and hopefully he can make a next to full recovery.”
The bullet had broken-up once it penetrated his spine and both the Pinnock family and veterinary surgeons feared Dave would not recover.
“It is really scary to think someone has stood outside our garden and shot a rifle,” said Mr Pinnock.
“Our two-year-old granddaughter often plays there, if it could penetrate a cat’s spine what about a two-year-old’s head?”
Mr Pinnock now believes Dave was shot as he entered the house fleeing from his attacker and believes he knew where the assailant would have stood.
Mrs Pinnock posted a Facebook status about the incident, which was ultimately shared by more than 1,600 people, demanding answers.
“We would like to say a big thanks to those who shared it and who left kind messages, we still cannot believe it”, she said.
“Only the other day we said how it was a cat’s paradise around Gulval, it is a disgrace someone could do this.”
“We are so grateful to Rosevean vets who saved Dave’s life and the local police who have taken a big interest.”
Fortunately, Dave is now home recovering with his brother, Simba, and Penzance police are still conducting an investigation.
Inspector Jean Phillips said: “We have had some response; however we still encourage anyone with any information to get in touch.”
Dave the ginger cat is expected to survive the incident.