“WHO will be next? Your pet, your child, you?”

That’s the message from a distressed Ferndown man whose black cat was shot through the spleen with an airgun in broad daylight.

Anthony and Debby Thompson came home from a shopping trip to find one-yearold Springer hardly moving.

Mr Thompson, of Hilltop Road, said: “We rushed him to the vets, but they couldn’t see anything until the X Ray – the pellet had lodged inside him.

“He lost an awful lot of blood.

It’s sick really, that somebody could do this.”

Springer, a rescue cat now back at home, never ventures far from the house and won’t cross the road, Mr Thompson says, so the couple has put posters up warning neighbours.

“Parents should check their children don’t have access to airguns to try to stop this kind of thing,” Mr Thompson added.

“But the police have warned me it might be an adult who just doesn’t like cats.”

Springer is showing signs of recovery but there is still a risk of infection after the operation on his intestines.

Mr Thompson said: “We wanted him home as soon as possible.

It’s important for food to get through his system now. He’s been vomiting, which isn’t a good sign.”

An RSPCA spokesman called it “a tragic incident” of “needless suffering”.

It happened on Friday December 10 between 10am and 11.45am. Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 1234 999.