A CAT owner has called for other pet owners to be vigilant after her beloved feline was shot, leading to soaring vet bills.

Enya Gillen, 26, was left with bills totalling £1,200 when her cat Pumpkin was hit by a pellet from an air rifle while he was outside their home in Dodworth.

The assailant is yet to be found, and Enya is advising people in the area to be cautious.

“Someone has used our cat as target practice. I really want them to think about what they’ve done. They’ve had a few seconds of fun and managed to hurt my cat and it’s led to my poor cat having surgery. Imagine if it had been a child.”

Enya said the incident, which happened at 9am last Friday, has left her doubting the safety of what she thought was a ‘quiet family area’.

The family has since been contacted by people who claim to have seen ‘kids carrying air rifles around’ near the nearby allotments.

“We thought this was a safe area but now I’m worried about letting him back out again,” Enya, of Intake Crescent, Dodworth, said.

“We used to live on a busy road and I was scared about letting him out then.We moved here in September and it seems like a quiet family area, but he’s been out and come back with a bullet wound.”

Enya, who also rescues and rehomes stray cats, was at work at the Dogs’ Trust when she had a call to say four-year-old rescue cat Pumpkin had been injured.

“I came back and my husband came in with Pumpkin,” Enya said. “There was a lot of blood where the bullet went in, it wasn’t a small wound.

“We called the vet who said he needed an urgent operation, and straight away when they saw it they said it looks like a bullet from an air rifle.”

Pumpkin has since had several operations to remove the bullet and repair the damage.

Police are not currently investigating the incident due to having no viable lines of enquiry.

Anyone with information is asked to phone 101 and give the incident number 14/174902/18.