Thug blasts cat with shotgun in horrific attack
A cat lover hopes police quickly catch a shotgun-wielding thug who blasted his pet in a shocking attack.
Although David O'Loan's cat, Mr Black and White, miraculously survived the attack, he is now praying the cat - fitted with a metal plate and pins - will not lose one of his legs and will be able to walk again.
The five-year-old cat returned home badly injured and when a vet discovered it had been blasted by a shotgun police launched an investigation.
Mr O'Loan (36), who lives in the Galgorm Road area of Ballymena, said: "It is a miracle my cat was not killed.
"We want people to know that this is not acceptable. I am worried that another cat could get shot if this person is not caught. It is a big shock. It is very fortunate that the cat did not die.
"He was shot in his intestine and stomach and at first they thought they would not be able to operate on his leg but the shot has not pierced any organs which is really lucky and a piece of shot has worked its way out above his eye.
"They shot through him, mainly the back half and one leg is completely shattered and the vet rebuilt it with a plate inside and pins and a frame on the outside to hold it all together and the other leg is badly chipped.
"The vets had asked for my permission to amputate but although they did not have to they still do not know if he will be able to walk again.
"He was missing for five days and it was quite an ordeal for him to get home.
"Another family cat, Blackie, has been keeping a vigil, watching over Mr Black and White who can stand on three legs and put slight weight on his other leg and we hope he will be able to walk again.
"The bone for an inch and a half is essentially missing and there is a plate between the two good sections.
"When I took him to the vet, we could not imagine he had been shot with a shotgun. He was in with the vet about 10 days. They are tiny pellets. I thought he had been hit by a car and never imagined anyone would shoot a cat. It is monstrous. It is illegal, the USPCA have told me cats have a right to roam on land.
"Whoever did this needs to be caught. I would like them to be prosecuted because I don't want this to happen again."
David has thanked the owners of Fenaghy Veterinary Clinic in Ballymena, Andy and Joan Hillan, and staff including vet Ian Finney for helping his cat.
Mr Finney said cats being deliberately shot are thankfully very rare and it was the first case of its kind which he had personally dealt with.
"This is inhumane and illegal. There are multiple pellets. It is a miracle escape from death and luckily somehow the pellets avoided all the vital organs," he said.
Police are treating it as a "cruelty" case and are appealing for information.
A spokesman said: "The cat left its home in the Old Park Avenue area on Wednesday, July 22 and when he came home on Monday, July 27, he had injuries to his hind legs.
"A vet has since confirmed that the injuries have been caused by a shotgun and it may result in the cat losing one of his hind legs."
The police are investigating and anyone with information can contact them at the Neighbourhood Policing Team at Ballymena Police Station on 101.