'Child next?' fear after cat is shot
A cat-lover whose pet was shot and left paralysed said the police should have taken the incident more seriously - in case the next victim is a child.Emma Persico left Vinnie Jones, her cat, with her parents at their home in Gimingham, near Mundelsey.
A cat-lover whose pet was shot and left paralysed said the police should have taken the incident more seriously - in case the next victim is a child.
Emma Persico left Vinnie Jones, her cat, with her parents at their home in Gimingham, near Mundelsey. Last Thursday, a neighbour living near the village's Lancaster Estate found the pet under a car.
Mrs Persico, 27, said: “He looked like had been hit by a car. He couldn't move his back legs. We noticed a cut to his shoulders and he was covered in oil.”
After taking the ginger cat to a vet, the owner and her husband Maz, 39, were told the cut was actually a wound where he had been shot and a pellet was lodged in his spine.
The couple now have to pay £1,000 for an MRI scan to see if it can be removed and the operation could cost about £5,000. Even then there is no guarantee Vinnie Jones will regain the feeling in his legs.
Mrs Persico, who has three children and lives in London, said: “As much as we love him, we have to weigh up the pros and cons. This is no quality of life for a cat.”
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The owners reported the incident to the police but were told there was nothing they could do. Mrs Persico said: “They just kept saying 'maybe it was bothering some farmer's livestock'. There are children playing in that area. Someone is shooting a cat - what if they miss and hit a child next time?
Yesterday Harry Mitchell from Norfolk police confirmed the shooting had been reported. He said: “The informant has been told that the incident cannot be progressed without known witnesses or CCTV footage. Anyone who has knowledge about it should contact police.”
He added: “We would urge members of the public to use air guns or BB guns safely and in a controlled environment and of course in accordance with the law. Parents should take responsibility for the safety of their children and ensure they do not carry them in public places.”
Mrs Persico said her children, 10-year-old Jay, seven-year-old Charlotte and two-year-old Ffion, had been very upset. She added: “He's made such an impact on our family. He's a bit of a fighter and a charmer at the same time - that's why we called him Vinnie Jones.”