Stoic Penny saved by emergency vets after being found on owner’s bed with horrific facial injuries

A mum-of-two has told of her horror at discovering her pet cat had been shot in the eye.

Penny staggered home with horrific facial injuries and initially her owner thought she had been in a fight with another animal.

But after rushing her to Vets Now in Guildford, Sam Aitken was shocked to be told bullet fragments had been found in her face.

Thankfully, Penny survived her ordeal after the fragments were removed by an emergency vet.

X-ray image of Penny's skull for article on cat shot in the eye
X-rays showed fragments from a gun inside Penny's skull

The police and RSPCA have been alerted to the shooting but, so far, a culprit has not been found.

“I came home and found Penny with a mushed up face around her eye and my first reaction was: ‘What the hell has happened to her?’ So we went straight to the emergency vet,” recalled Sam.

“A few hours later we got a phone call to say the vet had found fragments from a gun in the wound and she had probably been shot in the face.

“It was a complete shock. What goes through somebody’s mind to do that to a poor animal?

“I really didn’t know what we were going to do because the vet said there was a risk of her being hospitalised for a few months and I didn’t think she’d cope with that.”

Thankfully there was no need for such drastic action as six-year-old Penny was transferred to a specialist veterinary practice where she was operated on before being released.

Now she’s now back home adjusting to life as a one-eyed cat.

Sam said: “Thankfully, Penny has made a full recovery. It’s been a long process but she seems happy. I’m not sure if the ordeal has knocked her confidence though – she is quite a shy cat anyway – but she hasn’t gone much further than the garden.”

Sam added that she was pleased her two sons were too young to realise what had happened.

She explained: “William is three and Henry is one so they are too young to understand and I wouldn’t like to try to explain such a horrible thing to them.”

Gemma Vosser-Smith, principal nurse manager at Vets Now in Guildford, recalled the distressing phone call the Vets Now contact centre received when Penny was first discovered with her injuries.

She said: “Mrs Aitken rang to say she had found Penny with ‘half her face hanging off’ and it clearly was upsetting for her to hear that we had found evidence of bullets when we x-rayed Penny.

“The vet, Sofia, stabilised her and administered pain relief before clipping and cleaning her wound and applying bandaging. Penny was then closely monitored overnight before being referred to a specialist hospital for surgery.

“It’s wonderful news she has since made a full recovery and I’m glad we were able to help her as she’s such a beautiful cat. It’s worth pointing out that almost all cats with one eye adapt hugely successfully and live very fulfilled lives.

Image of cat with one eye for vets now article on cat shot in the eye
Despite her ordeal, Penny has made a remarkable recovery

The Vets Now clinic in Guildford – where Penny received treatment – was recently rated as “outstanding” in the delivery of emergency and critical care by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

It’s one of 55 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.