A FAMILY from Tullow were left devastated when they discovered that their beloved cat was shot three times by an air rifle, with one of the metal pellets lodged in his spine.
Carolynn Ansell and her two boys, 11-year-old Jack and Vijay (7), are still coming to terms with the fact that Tom, their cat, was left paralysed after the shooting and had to be humanely put down.
“My beautiful, beautiful pet is gone,” an upset Carolynn told The Nationalist.
The horrific incident unfolded on Thursday 26 June at their home in Phelim Wood, Tullow when they discovered that Tom couldn’t walk. Initially, they thought that he’d been hit by a car and so rushed him to the emergency care vet.
But when Tom was x-rayed under anaesthetic, three metal pellets showed up.
“One of them was deeply lodged in his spine. The vet was amazed that he was still breathing,” Carolynn said.
“There was another one in his leg and another in his side. It was so traumatic; he’d never walk again. We made the decision to let him go while he was under the anaesthetic.”
Messages of support for Carolynn and her children came flooding in when people became aware that Tom had been shot. “Our neighbours cried when they heard the news; they can’t believe that someone would do that to a poor, innocent animal. Tom would have just purred at the people who did this,” she continued.
Carolynn is the daughter of Jane Kelly, a volunteer with the Carlow SPCA who’s renowned for rescuing animals, particularly cats and dogs.
After Tom died, Jane and Carolynn laid him out with a statue and a candle for the family to say goodbye to their faithful friend.
“If an animal dies in my house, that’s the respect they’re shown,” Jane explained. “The children get involved, too. It’s OK to do this – to grieve for a family pet.”
Now the family want to highlight the fact that a weapon such as an air rifle had obviously been used to shoot Tom in a busy housing estate.
“Phelim Wood has lots of children running around and playing,” Carolynn pointed out. “What if a child had been hit by one of the pellets? We need to highlight this because these rifles are so dangerous. We’ve no idea who did this. It was a horrible way to an animal to die.”