A PET owner is appealing for information after heartless thugs held an air rifle to her cat's ear and shot it through the head.
Buster, a seven-year-old grey tabby, managed to survive the attack last Thursday evening but was left with a pellet lodged in his head.
And his owner, Jane Outterside, fears that other pets in the area could also be attacked if the person responsible isn't caught.
Jane, 37, of Robert Street, Accrington, said that Buster had come in through the cat-flap with his ear streaming with blood at around 8.30pm.
She initially thought he had been in a cat-fight and took him to a vet, where the air-rifle pellet was found lodged behind his ear. Buster was given antibiotics and painkillers, but the pellet was not removed.
Jane, a special needs officer, said: "It was terrible - I have never seen anything like it. The vet told me that it looked like Buster had been shot at close range."
"I can't imagine why anyone would do something like that but the vet said there had been similar incidents in the area. I think it is disgusting."
Jane, who has had Buster since he was six weeks old, said that he had been sick every day since the shooting and was losing weight.
She said: "He isn't very well at all. He used to be a very sociable, happy and friendly cat who would go up to anyone when they called, but now he is really timid."
"He won't go outside and just stays upstairs all day."
"I'm really angry about what has happened and I'm appealing for anyone who knows who is responsible to come forward."
Sergeant Claire Holbrook, of Accrington Police, said: "This was a despicable crime against a defenceless animal that has obviously caused much suffering to the animal and distress to the owner."
"Weapons such as air rifles are very dangerous in the wrong hands and when used inappropriately can cause serious injury to humans and animals alike."