Detectives investigating the ‘horrific’ double shooting of cats in Accrington and Oswaldtwistle have launched a television appeal to help identify the offenders.
RSPCA inspectors, vets and cat welfare members have appeared on the BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow this week to ask for potential witnesses to share information.
The Observer previously revealed how the incidents happened on April 10 in Oswaldtwistle involving black cat Jasper and on Bold Street in Accrington on April 20 involving a ginger domestic short hair Rufus.
No arrests have been made in connection with either attack.
Speaking on Crimewatch Roadshow, Andy Richards, of Accrington-based Friends of the Cats, said he was left ‘absolutely stunned’ by the shootings.
He said: “People in the area are very worried. Someone who would do that is just so beyond my comprehension.
“It’s vital that we catch the person and get them stopped from doing this again. Whoever has done this need to be brought to book. Personally I would like to see justice for Rufus and Jasper.”
Local vet Robin Stratton said it was a difficult operation to remove the air gun pellet from Rufus’s head.
He told the show: “As part of the investigations we x-rayed Rufus’s head which showed an air gun pellet lodged in his sinuses.
"This pellet had been in Rufus’s head for sometime. When we finally retrieved it, it was rusty and he had a long-standing nasal infection.”
Jasper was shot six times with an air gun and the pellets entered into his left eye, the roof of his mouth, abdomen, neck and his left knee.
RSPCA officer Kat Newman said the injuries took a ‘serious toll’ and his ‘condition was critical’.
RSPCA bosses said both cats were shot with .22 air rifle bullets and believe the attacks are linked.
Inspector Carl Larson tol Crimewatch: “Both cats were found within a three-mile distance only 10 days apart. The RSPCA have taken these attacks very seriously.
"Both cats were shot at point-blank range and we don’t believe it is an accident.
“I’m pleased to say they are both doing well.
“Jasper has been returned to his family and Rufus has found a new loving home and made a full recovery.”
Anyone with information call police on 101 quoting log number 531 of April 22 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.