A WIGAN couple have been left distraught after their pet cat Yoda was shot dead with an air rifle.
The much-loved pet died just hours after being hit by three pellets by yobs near woodland close to his home in Hind Road, Marsh Green, at the weekend.
Now owners Christine and Nicholas Holden have spoken of their horror, and have urged residents to be cautious of “copy-cat” incidences.
This comes after neighbours also reported similar injuries to their pets in recent years. Christine, 40, said: “Words really can’t describe how devastated and angry I am and I want to make others aware about the situation so hopefully we can try to prevent this from happening again.
“I can’t comprehend how someone could be so cruel to any animal. There are plenty of natural ways to try and keep cats away and I just wish people would use these.
“The people who do this don’t think about the consequences and heartbreak it brings to the people like me who had rescued Yoda as a kitten and spoiled him rotten.
“He had a laid-back, very loving character and I’d have paid any amount of money to save my cat but the vet told me he wouldn’t survive.”
Yoda was taken to a special RSPCA veterinary in Manchester on Saturday after Christine realised there was something wrong when the pet started to vomit. It was on closer examination that it was discovered he had been shot three times by an air rifle.
Six pieces of his intestine had been damaged and it caused huge infection and unfortunately there was nothing vets could do for him.
Christine, who also owns two other cats with names inspired by Star Wars, Chewie and Wookiee, said she was now wary of letting them stray too far away from the house. She added: “I am really lucky to still have these two as they are helping me get through this.
“The three were all so close and it’s clear already they know something is wrong and they’re pining for Yoda. He was like their dad.
“But plenty of us around here have cats as they keep the mice at bay and I know a couple of residents who have had the same thing happen to them. It just needs to stop. ”
The RSPCA stated that anybody found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal can face a maximum six-month prison sentence and/or a £20,000 fine.