A distraught mother-of-three has said that she fears for the lives of her children as two cat shootings rock the neighbourhood.

On Thursday, June 15 at 9:58am, Kelly Hart received a phone call that her 11-month-old cat, Garfield, had been found in a neighbour’s garden in Hart Close with an injury to the side of his body.

After closer inspection, he was rushed to the vet and was soon pronounced dead from a gun shot wound to the kidney.

Kelly said: “We are all so upset. It isn’t something that we ever thought that we would have to deal with. We only got him 11 months ago and it’s sad to think that he didn’t even make it to his first birthday.

“I got Garfield for my son who is autistic, and I had to be the one to tell him that his cat had died. That was very distressing, and he is still dealing with it.

“The fact that someone is out there shooting cats is just so sickening.”

According to neighbours, Hart Close is a very busy residential area which is often frequented by people using it as a short cut to the town centre.

Following a second shooting in the same area, Kelly is concerned for the safety of her sons and other children who often play in the area where their cat was found.

She added: “My youngest son is non-verbal, and he often plays on a trampoline at the bottom of the garden. If something were to happen, we wouldn’t know about it until it might be too late. That is what is most concerning.

“This kind of thing always seemed like quite a rare occurrence, but two animals on the same street cannot be a coincidence. I just dread to think of the animals who leave the house, are shot, and never return home. Their families would never know.”

The multiple incidents have been reported to the police and Silva Homes and are being taken seriously.

Letters have been sent out to the local community warning them to beware after Garfield’s death in June. Further liaising between authorities has been taking place to compile notes on the shootings.

Kelly said: “I just want to raise awareness about this so that neighbours are on the look out to prevent another animal being shot by an air rifle.

Cats Protection have said that their thoughts are with the families of those who have been harmed.

Madison Rogers, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy, Campaigns and Government Relations, says: “As the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, we are always distressed to hear of potentially deliberate acts of cruelty towards cats.

“Pet cats are all too often the innocent victims of air weapon attacks and it is a great concern for the wider community, who will understandably be very anxious that dangerous weapons are being used by individuals living in their area.

“Our analysis of UK press reports, which is just the tip of the iceberg, shows that more than 90 per cent of these shootings take place in England and Wales where it is currently legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air weapon without the need for a licence.

“We are continuing to put pressure on the Government to follow the example of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without a licence as we believe that licensing air weapons in England and Wales will help reduce air weapon injuries to pets and people.”