A CAT had to be put to sleep after it was shot with an air weapon in east Dorset.

The attack on the animal happened in Oak Road, Alderholt sometime between 11am and 11.20am on Thursday, August 15.

Vets euthanised the cat due to the severity of its injuries.

Police are now investigating the attack, and anyone with any information is asked to report it by phoning 101 or visiting www.dorset.police.uk, using the reference number 55190128127.

As reported in July, large numbers of animal shootings have sparked renewed calls for air gun controls from the RSPCA.

The animal welfare charity revealed there were 64 gun attacks on animals in the South West last year.

In Dorset alone, 12 animals were targeted.

The RSPCA says there is a spike in attacks during the summer season when there are more daylight hours.

As well as mandatory licensing, the charity is calling for a range of measures to tackle the problem of air guns.