Belfast Telegraph

Thugs who shot cat with crossbow 'could target children'

By Nevin Farrell

Police fear thugs who blasted a pet cat with a crossbow bolt could turn their sights on children next.

The PSNI Newry & Mourne Facebook page hit out after the animal called Smokey had to undergo an emergency life-saving operation after being targeted in Newry's Derrybeg estate on Saturday.

Social media was swamped with condemnation and the PSNI's Newry website said police were disgusted by the attack.

They said: "The cat is presently being treated for serious injuries but is fighting on. There are obviously folk out there with access to these implements and think it's a bit of craic to mess about with them and target defenceless animals. Will they aim them at a child next?"

Police are appealing for information and the official Facebook post added: "Some of you know who is running about with these things, they are living in your community and likely think they run the show.

"Tell us who they are, we don't need your name you can tell us via independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Ref is 834 17/01/15. We are committed to keeping you all safe and can do a much better job of that working together." Smokey was left for dead after being pierced through the torso by the crossbow bolt. He was rushed to the nearby Animal Hospital run by the USPCA and it took vets two hours to take out the bolt which narrowly missed major organs.

USPCA chief executive Stephen Philpott said: "I am absolutely aghast as this, it is shocking animal cruelty.

"This is the second cat our vet has seen like this in the last few months and the bolts taken out of each have been exactly the same.

"We have now handed all information on this attack over to the police and we expect a full and thorough investigation."

The USPCA's Facebook page said yesterday: "USPCA staff are delighted that the cat is recovering well here at the Animal Hospital and if Smokey's progress continues we hope to reunite Smokey with her owners. Any information you should have about this attack please contact Ardmore Police Station."

Mandy McGuinness wrote on Facebook: "This is my mother's cat an they are disgusted how anyone can do this to an animal. My seven-year-old child was there when they found Smokie and was screaming when she saw her, whoever did this is disgusting."

Dozens of people expressed their horror on social media about the attack.

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