Cat dies after airgun shooting

Sue Wood with her pet cat, Teddy, during his final moments. (S)
Sue Wood with her pet cat, Teddy, during his final moments. (S)

The heartbroken owner of a Persian cat who has died after being shot by an airgun near Ripon has appealed for help in finding the culprit.

Sue Wood, 61, of Mill Lane in Burton Leonard, was forced to have her pet cat of five years, Teddy, put to sleep last week at the specialist veterinary centre near Leeds where he had been receiving treatment following the attack on the night of July 21-22.

The attack, which Sue believes happened close to her home, left Teddy’s windpipe severed, his jaw fractured and massive blood loss in his chest.

“Who on earth could do such a thing? What mentality have they got?” said Sue.

“The vet said whoever shot him had intended to kill him.”

Sue originally owned three Persian cats but two had already died in tragic circumstances –the first from renal failure, the second after it was attacked by dogs not on their leads.

Mourning the loss of her last remaining Persian, Sue said: “Teddy was the sweetest little thing. He was such a character and his personality was second to none.

“He would lie back in my arms like a baby and put a paw on either side of my face.

“He met an untimely end that he had no reason to meet and I’m absolutely devastated.”

Sue first knew something was wrong with Teddy when he didn’t come in for his breakfast on the morning of Monday, July 22. She eventually found him in her garden hiding under a bush.

“I picked him up and I got covered in blood,” said Sue, who is mother to five grown-up children.

“I thought he had been hit by a car.”

She took Teddy to her vets in Harrogate but once it became clear he had been shot, she was referred to a specialist unit in Morley, near Leeds.

“The care was second to none,” said Sue, a former hairdresser and beauty therapist.

“Teddy struggled for four and a half weeks and lost the fight because he started to fit and I had no choice but to have him put to sleep. I couldn’t put him through anymore.”

Teddy’s severe injuries left him unable to eat. He was given a tracheotomy and he had to be fed through a tube down his throat and eventually directly into his stomach.

“They did three or four surgeries but they couldn’t repair the damage to his throat,” said Sue, who said at one point Teddy lost 15 per cent of his body weight because he couldn’t swallow properly.

Still grieving for her dearly departed cat, Sue wanted the culprit to know the pain they had caused and urged anyone with information to come forward.

“Whoever did this is a very evil human being and they need help – if someone knows something they need to say.

“Next time it might be a child or their family that’s affected.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police confirmed officers were making enquiries into the incident.

Any witnesses or people with information are urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for Ripon police.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111. Quote reference number 12130141217 when passing information about this incident.