Shocking image of cat shot in the neck in Newtownards
This is the shocking image of a pet cat found shot in the neck after it went missing in Newtownards.
Little Oscar was missing for about a week and when he was found he was severely dehydrated and malnourished.
Police are investigating it as a case of animal cruelty.
The pet cat went missing on Tuesday September 9 and was found in a neighbour's garden on September 16 with an injury to its neck.
Oscar's owner, who did not wish to be named, said for the 24-hours after being found it was touch and go.
He said: "It was very much a touch and go situation with us very much expecting him to die without coming home from the vets.
"Luckily, he is now recovering, although he has lost the use of his voice and is only able to make a quiet choking noise now."
It was when Oscar was taken to the vet that it was discovered that he had been shot in the neck.
He said: "From the conversations with the vet and by viewing the X-rays it looks like he was shot with a .22 rifle.
"The bullet entered through the neck hit a bone which caused some of the metal to fragment and become lodged in his chest wall, luckily missing his vital organs.
"At the time of the X-rays we were puzzled as to where the remainder of the bullet had gone to, however a week or so after being released from the vet we found an exit wound in his left shoulder that had been missed because it had already partially closed over."
Police believe this incident may have occurred within the Scrabo Country Park.
And now Oscar who was a rescue cat and is thought to be around four or five-years-old, has become depressed.
His owner said: "He would be quite withdrawn.
"He used to sit in the living room and curl up on your lap.
"Now he hides."
Police are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to contact them at Newtownards Police Station on the non-emergency number 101.