A “miracle” black cat who is on the way to an unlikely recovery after being shot in the face has won an award for his bravery.
Two-year-old Dexter was left seriously ill with a fractured jaw, an exit wound in the back of his skull and metal shrapnel embedded in his face after being struck by airgun pellets in July.
The beloved pet’s fight to overcome his injuries has won him the animal charity PDSA’s survivor of the year award in recognition of his owner’s dedication, the skill of the medical team, and Dexter’s own plucky spirit.
Owner Ruth Lewis, from Illogan in Cornwall, said: “I entered Dexter in the competition thinking it would be a nice way to recognise his incredible bravery, but I never expected him to win.
“I’m over the moon, it’s an amazing end to what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.
“Thanks so much to our vets, and to PDSA for recognising our little miracle cat like this.”
Dexter’s owner first became concerned when the animal failed to return home for breakfast one morning.
She later heard a cry from the lounge, where she discovered the stricken cat covered in blood and struggling to breathe.
Mrs Lewis, 54, wrapped the poorly pet in blankets and rushed him to the vet’s in nearby Hayle where x-rays revealed Dexter had been shot through the roof of his mouth with an airgun.
Despite initial concerns Dexter would succumb to his injuries, the cat made a remarkable recovery – aided by patient care, a device fitted to the side of his jaw, and hand-feeding.
Vet Jemma Gough, a vet at Animal Vet Services in Hayle, said: “Dexter wasn’t even able to walk, so how he’d dragged himself home was a mystery.
“The team at Animal Vets are all so proud of Dexter and how well he has done.
“Throughout the entirety of his treatment he has been a pleasure to care for, and the brilliant outcome we are seeing pays homage to his resilience, and the true dedication of his owners.
“Dexter is a real character, and well deserving of this recognition.”
Mrs Lewis added: “Incredibly, Dexter is now set to make a full recovery, and to look at him you’d never know anything had happened.
“It’s been a terrifying ordeal for all of us, we’re still recovering emotionally from what happened, but Dexter’s patient determination has been an inspiration.
“We’re amazed at how well he’s healed and recovered, he’s our little miracle cat.”