CALLOUS thugs have shot a cat with an air rifle.

Dorset Police have launched an appeal for information following the incident, which took place in Verwood on Sunday.

The female cat returned to the family home in Hainault Drive injured. It was taken to the vet and underwent surgery.

An X-ray was taken and the vet believes an air weapon was used as pellets were found lodged in her body.

Police community support investigator Kayleigh Hole, of Dorset Police, said: "The cat’s owner does not know of any reason why someone would want to harm her cat or who may have been responsible.

"She has understandably been left very upset by what has happened.

"I would urge anyone who has any information or knows the identity of the person or people involved to please contact Dorset Police. “

The cat is expected to make a full recovery.