A CAT was shot in the leg with a pellet gun, one of a number of similar attacks.
Angela Waterford, of Vine Lane, Hillingdon, noticed her cat, Cleo, seemed uncomfortable, and after further investigation, the mother-of-three found a perfect, circular wound in Cleo's leg.
She said: "She was clearly in pain. The vet said there was no doubt in his mind that it was caused by a shot.
"Luckily it was in her leg and didn't go through any organs. It beats me how someone could do that.
"There's so many people with cats around here. You worry about roads but not something like this."
Mrs Waterford rescued Cleo as a kitten, along with two siblings, Dexter and Joey, about four years ago.
"We only went to get one but when they'd been abandoned and when we saw them they were gorgeous so we took three," she explained.
Cleo needed surgery, antibiotics and stitches, which cost £500.
Vet of 10 years at Animals Are Us veterinary surgery, in Station Road, Hayes, Dr David Muge, treated Cleo.
He said: "We do see a lot of these and they can be deadly. It's got worse of late. I've seen one shot right in the spinal cord. It was paralysed and we had to put it to sleep. There was another that was shot through the heart and was also put to sleep.
"I think it's bored kids and they use them as practice targets."
Mrs Waterford believes the cat was shot either along Vine Lane or nearUxbridge Golf Club.
She added: "It's deeply upsetting when your beloved pet gets hurt on purpose.
"Accidents happen to animals just like to humans but when an animal you love and care for is hurt it's horrible. At least people can be aware and watch out if this happens to their pet."