A pigeon shooter is believed to be at large in Hove after six birds were found dead or injured from bullet wounds.
The RSPCA is appealing for information after three birds were found in Sackville Road near the railway bridge last week, just two weeks after three more were found in the same place.
Two pigeons were found in the alleyway behind a back garden, already dead, and a third was found inside the actual garden in a very poorly way.
They were taken to the vet who found a bullet in the body of the injured bird and suspected shooting-related injuries in the two bodies.
The three birds were discovered a couple of weeks after reports of three other pigeons found dead in the same back garden.
Sadly, the vet found the injuries to the third bird were so severe that he had to be put to sleep to end his suffering.
RSPCA inspector Tony Pritchard said: “There’s too many coincidences here for this to have been a one off occurrence or an accident – we are seriously concerned someone is intentionally shooting birds and may continue to do so unless they are stopped.
“These birds are likely to have suffered from being shot in this way, especially since we know at least one was not killed immediately. It is likely that all the birds were left to suffer a long lingering death – as would have happened to the injured bird had these kind people not called us.
“We would like to remind people that it is an offence to intentionally injure wild animals in this way and urge anyone who may know anything about these shootings to let us know, in complete confidence, on 0300 123 8018.”
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal to take, injure or kill wild birds or interfere with their nest or eggs. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.
To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).