A PET owner said he was ‘heartbroken’ when he discovered his nine-month old kitten had been shot with an air rifle by a ‘mindless thug.’

Martin Bowerman said his wife, Nicki, was shocked when she arrived at her home in Caxton Road in Highbridge on Thursday (February 6) to find blood around her house and her kitten, Archie, hiding underneath her sofa.

Concerned for his welfare, Nicki took Archie to Bridge Vets in Highbridge for treatment and vets discovered the nine-month old kitten had been shot in the stomach.

Vets found the pellet had caused damage to Archie’s diaphragm and the kitten underwent major surgery on Friday (February 7) to remove the pellet.

Martin said: “My wife, Nicki, came home from the school run and noticed blood around the house and realised it was from Archie.

“She found Archie hiding under the sofa. She thought he had been in a fight with another cat so she took him to Bridge Vets in Highbridge.

“When Archie arrived at Bridge Vets the vet noticed a suspicious wound on his stomach and said they needed to do an X-ray.

“They then told us that he had been shot by some mindless thug with an air rifle which caused damage to his diaphragm.

“He had to have major surgery on Friday to have it repaired. When I heard about what happened to Archie I was angry, upset and heartbroken.

“I couldn’t believe that someone would shoot a helpless little kitten.”

Martin said Archie is now recovering at home and praised vets for ‘saving his life.’

“If the vets had not done what they had done Archie would not be here right now so we are extremely grateful for everything they have done,” Martin said.

“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else’s pet. Shooting pets for no reason that is just bang out of order.

“I would urge all pet owners to keep an eye on your cats as this mindless thug could strike at any time.”

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police, said they would urge anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

“We can confirm that an incident has been reported to us where a cat had been shot with an air weapon,” the spokesperson said.

“This happened sometime between 1pm and 2.15pm on February 6 in the Caxton Road/Weston Court area of Highbridge.

“The incident has been filed, pending further information being provided.

“Anyone able to help is asked to contact us, quoting reference 5220031439.”