THIS shocking image shows the result of an air rifle attack on a defenceless cat.
But despite being peppered with seven pellets - which lodged in his face and chest - this brave moggy is fighting his way back to full health.
And now owner Emma Hughes is campaigning to find the individual behind this “disgusting” crime.
The seven-month-old ginger tom cat had been missing from his Lowton home earlier this week, and his owner was becoming increasingly concerned.
The 23-year-old said: “Ginger had been out and it was hail-stoning quite badly so I was worried about him although he does often go out to play in the field at the back of our house.
“I found him cowering in our wendy-house in the garden, pouring with blood. I thought a dog had got him at first because I could see the puncture wounds.”
Ginger was rushed to the My Pets’ Vets surgery on Twist Lane, Leigh, where vet Caroline Purnell was on hand to rescue him from the brink of death.
Caroline said: “We anaesthetised him to investigate the injuries and found seven pellets lodged in the front half of his body. We were only able to remove two surgically, we believe two are embedded in his chest cavity. But remarkably Ginger is doing really well after surgery and we’ve been able to let him go home.”
Emma, who works in Customer Services, explained that now Ginger is back home he has been getting some well earned tender loving care.
She said: “Some of his claws have fallen out because he had to drag himself back to the house as he couldn’t walk. We were also told that he must have been cornered or even held because obviously a cat would run off at the sound of a gun shot.
“I don’t know who would do something like this, it is just disgusting. We have started a group on Facebook to find justice for Ginger and we’ve had a lot of support. I think people will be appalled to see.”
Emma, of Bodden Street, confirmed that she has reported the incident to the police and the Cat Protection Society. She added: “I would like to thank the vets, they were fantastic - so caring and generous.”