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CAT LOSES EYE AFTER AIRGUN ATTACK HORROR; Boy, 10, follows trail of blood to find pet puss Mottle.

Byline: Sam Dimmer

A MUM has called for tighter gun controls after her son's pet cat was nearly killed after being shot on her driveway.

Clare Schofield's daughter Poppy, five, and a friend were playing nearby when Mottle was shot in the eye with an airgun.

The seven-year-old raced upstairs and hid in her brother Jack's bedroom and was only discovered when Jack followed the trail of blood left by his pet. Despite the family fearing the worst, Mottle, who lost an eye in the attack, survived after spending three nights at the vets.

Police and the RSPCA launched an investigation into the attack, which took place at 4.30pm on June 27, but noone has been charged.

Now Clare, who lives in Mallow Croft, Bedworth, wants tighter controls over who can own airguns - which currently don't require a licence.

"The person who did this obviously had no regard for animals," Clare, 38, said. "They've obviously got very little regard for people either - my daughter was playing a few metres away when someone took two shots at Mottle.

"She is still very quiet. It's ten days after the shooting and she hasn't tried to get out once.

"I'm having to hand feed her too. Even now when I look at her I want to cry.

"She's a pretty cat. We used to joke that she looked like an owl because she had these beautiful brown eyes."

Mottle's vets' bill came to pounds 536 which the family paid for using money put aside to pay for Clare's degree in theatre nursing, which she starts in September.

The vet who operated on her said she was stunned Mottle survived.

"If the gun had been a little more powerful or if the shot had been taken a little closer I have no doubt that the bullet would have ended up in Mottle's brain," Clare said.

"Jack's a very clever, logical boy. He keeps telling me that she's still got all her legs and one eye, and she'll be OK, but this is still a cruel act."

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said that these kinds of attacks are on the increase and are usually inflicted on birds, wild animals and pet cats.

She said: "It is a mindless act of cruelty and obviously we're concerned. The police were notified first and they have thoroughly investigated. The RSPCA are still appealing for information.

"If anyone does know anything they can contact RSPCA investigating officer Helen Smith on 0300 1234 999 and ask to leave a message for her."

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SHOOTING: Jack Schofield, aged 10, with his cat Mottle who was shot in the eye
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 7, 2011
Words:441
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