Cats targeted in slug gun shootings

Southland SPCA is asking pet owners to be vigilant after cats were attacked and killed with slug guns in Invercargill.

SPCA manager Mary Bradley said a "friendly pregnant cat" was the latest victim of an attack on Wednesday.

It was shot at close range in the belly with a slug gun and died slowly and painfully, she said.

Dr Sandy Cooper, of Elles Road Veterinary Centre, treated the cat.

"We tried to save the cat but it was impossible . . . the family of the pet were totally devastated," she said.

It was hard for the family to understand why someone would target their cat, she said.

"I want to get across that it is not OK to shoot someone's property."

Ms Bradley said other cats had died in a similar way, with one euthanised because it had been shot in the brain.

"People can not go around shooting cats like this. Despite what they think, it does not kill them quickly, it just leaves them in agony and they suffer. It is cruel," she said.

Attacks on pets with slug guns had taken place on a number of occasions in the past and during school holidays, she said.

The attacks had happened in different parts of the city.

"I can't understand why people would deliberately harm an animal. Doing it for fun is cruel and an offence," she said.

Ms Bradley urged firearms holders to be responsible and respect other people's pets.

She worried people were not just shooting cats, but also targeting birds.

Acting Senior Sergeant Peter Graham said a slug gun was classed as a firearm. There were a number of offences surrounding this issue [shooting pets] including discharging a firearm around dwellings and damaging property, which included pets.

The Southland Times