THESE stark X-ray images show just how lucky pet cat Sooti is to be alive after ‘callous’ airgun thugs shot her through the neck.

Vets were forced to carry out emergency surgery on the moggy while her frantic owner, Kelly Samways, braced herself for the worst.

They were able to remove the pellet that had lodged in Sooti’s throat and was causing breathing problems.

Kelly explained how Sooti, who is now recovering at her Corfe Castle home, was shot in the throat in the Halves Cottages area of the town.

“She pulled through the surgery to have the pellet removed but my vet told me they’d never seen anything this bad before. The police have been informed and we’ve been left in no doubt that whoever did this did it with the full intention of killing her,” said Kelly.

“I’m hoping to raise as much awareness as possible about this shocking attack – especially as there are people out there deliberately targeting cats.”

Veterinary surgeon Andy Buchan, of Medivet Wool, who treated Sooti, said the pellet had become lodged dangerously in her larynx, obstructing her airway. He confirmed: “Sooti has been the unfortunate victim of an attack with an airgun.

“Fortunately, we were able to retrieve the pellet and are happy to say Sooti appears to be making a good recovery.

“Sooti is incredibly lucky to have survived this incident and it is upsetting to think someone was callous enough to do this to a well-loved pet.”

Condemning the attack, Poole & Purbeck RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond told the Daily Echo he is interested in speaking to anyone with information about the incident, which took place sometime on March 22 between 7pm and 8.30pm.

If you can help call the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999.