A cat has been left with severe injuries after being shot with an airgun in Dorset.
The one-year-old black male, called Springer, was shot on Saturday near its home in Hilltop Road, Ferndown.
The animal under went emergency surgery to remove pellets which had gone straight through its spleen and intestine, and is recovering at home.
An investigation has been launched by the RSPCA, which is appealing for witnesses to come forward.
Springer's owner, Anthony Thompson, said: "It's just awful that this has happened, the vet said it's one of the worse cases they have seen.
"We're still waiting to see how he will get on and hope he will be back to himself soon."
Animal welfare officer Jo Blackburn called it a "tragic incident".
"Sadly, we do see a lot of cases of cats being injured in this way and it's simply not acceptable," she added.
- 29 January 2010