Brighton cat killed by air rifle after spate of attacks

Posted On 08 Dec 2014 at 12:27 pm

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was fatally shot in the head with an air rifle in Brighton in what is suspected as being part of a spate of similar attacks.



Charlie, a four year-old black cat, was found dead in a neighbours’ garden in Compton Road last Saturday (29 November) morning.

He was taken to a vet who X-rayed him and found there were three pellets in his body – one in the head and two others in his chest and abdomen. It is suspected that two of the pellets were old ones, which means the attacks happened over a period of time.

There have also been reports of potential other shootings of other cats in the same street.

Owner Clare Smail said: “We are absolutely devastated at this utterly pointless and callous attack.

“It makes me so sad to think that someone had been shooting at Charlie over a period of time – and that he had been wounded in the past. Our poor boy – he was such a sweetheart, and it makes me so sad that anyone could do that to him even once – let alone on multiple occasions – it’s just heartbreaking.

“He had been out for several hours, which wasn’t completely unusual, although he would always come back when you knocked on the back door, so he never went far. When we knocked on the door and he didn’t come back, we looked out for him, which is when we saw him lying in the neighbour’s garden.

“We have three other cats, who we are very concerned about now, checking on their whereabouts constantly – we are considering keeping them in all the time, although know that that would make them miserable.”

RSPCA inspector Liz Wheeler said: “Unfortunately this is not as rare an occurrence as you would hope. Cats – and wildlife – tend to be vulnerable to such deliberate attacks simply because they are out there in the open on their own.

“We would urge people to remember it is a legal as well as moral offence to cause deliberate
cruelty to an animal in this way. We have no idea about whether poor Charlie died instantly, or suffered a prolonged painful death, but whichever the case it is simply unacceptable to attack an animal this way.

“We would like to hear from anyone with any information about who shot him on 0300 123 8018.”

The RSPCA is a charity that relies on public donations to exist. If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.

  1. Alan Duffy Reply

    Considering the huge damage cats do to our local wildlife, this is actually a good thing for our locals birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

    Cat owners seem to think that they can let their pets (they are not wild animals, but pets) roam free into other people’s property, killing wildlife, without having to take any responsibility.

    Cat owners are not animal lovers. They are selfish and choose cats as they don’t have to bother with responsibility for their animal half of the time.

    • louise Reply

      Fair enough opinion. However still no excuse to go around shooting people pets.

    • Martha Reply

      Alan Duffy – That is such an evil comment, someone has lost a muched love pet to an act of stupid and ignorant brutality and you say something like that? Or are you just craving attention for what is obviously lacking in your life?

  2. louise Reply

    Sorry to hear about poor charlie. Do we know if he was shot at night or the day? I have a cat on the same road and am very worried now.

  3. linda Reply

    I think there is another issue here that has not been addressed, that someone is using a firearm to kill and mame It is likely that cats are not the only targets I expect wildlife are in their sites as well. Let’s hope they are caught before an accident happens and a person or child gets hurt.

  4. Jon Davis Reply

    To Alan Duffys comment… Its a good thing that people go round shooting cats with air riffles!? Do you have a screw loose. What a ridiculous comment! Cats like to roam, what do you expect owners to do, build a 8 foot fence around every property?

    Plenty of wildlife also do damage. I hope they catch this cruel person, surely it would be someone who lives on the street shooting threw a window rather than a passer by (especially being shot three times)?

  5. Al Busby Reply

    You don’t shoot cats. Bloody ridiculous what we get up to. We’re the ones with the high intellect. Poor old fella.

  6. Alan Duffy Reply

    To Jon Davis

    a) Re: ‘cats like to roam’ – yes, so they are not practical pets for people to have. If a dog spent its day going into other people gardens, the owner of the dog would have to do something about it. But with cats, it’s fine. Which is ridiculous.

    b) Re: ‘wildlife do damage’ – its wildlife, not a pet owned by a human. Simple really.

    • Jon Davis Reply

      Alan, you don’t like Cats, fine. Its still wrong/cruel to shoot any pets that belong to someone. FACT!

      • Alan Duffy Reply

        Fair point Jon. However, I quite like cats – it’s cat owners I don’t like. If only someone would shoot these smug idiots instead!

        • Paul Jones Reply

          Alan – are you for real? Please keep your comments to yourself. You are callous and heartless. As for inciting violence by encouring the shooting of people I will be reporting you under the terrorism act.

  7. Lisa Barnard Reply

    my cat was shot she was poorly for 2 weeks
    Me and my husband was quite worried for her she just laid on our bed the whole time I’m a cat lover and it’s beyond me how people can be so cruel…..
    As for Alan Duffy
    cats will alway roam they have always done this since the dawn of time if you lived in Egypt you would have been fed to the lions for the very mention of there name….. And another thing there are a lot of owners who have indoor cats
    you simply cannot be an animal lover…..either that or you just want to see the reaction you get

  8. feline1 Reply

    I’d like to see some actual evidence to back this story up. Most of these “animal depravity” stories are just made up by the RSPCA as part of a funding drive.

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