Tuppence one of hundreds of cats injured by unlicensed air rifle weapons

The owner of a cat badly injured after being shot at close range by an air rifle is calling for a crackdown on the weapons.

Wendy Farnham and her family were horrified to find that their cat, Tuppence, had been badly injured by an airgun pellet.

Her shock was compounded when she was told other cats in the local area had also been attacked.

Thankfully, Tuppence survived her ordeal after the pellet was removed by an emergency vet at Vets Now in Swindon.

Since then, Wendy has been unable to find any information on the identity of the attacker despite widespread appeals, but says she is determined to find out who shot Tuppence.

an image of Tuppence, the cat shot by an airgun, with a veterinary collar on for Vets Now article on cat shot by airgun
Tuppence had serious injuries to her intestine and her spleen had to be removed

At the very least Wendy is hoping to raise awareness about how much damage can be done by air rifles.

Wendy said: “I want people to know how dangerous air rifles are and how they are being misused. We were told by the vet that there had been other cases on the other side of Swindon the week before Tuppence was shot.

“I was surprised and quite shocked, but they said it was relatively common. It seems it was done at close range and quite deliberately. Maybe it was a teenager that had access to an air rifle and perhaps this will encourage parents to be aware of this problem.”

Silver tabby Tuppence has now fully recovered from her ordeal, but Wendy and her family did worry about how she would cope with major surgery and four days in intensive care at the Vets Now hospital which provides 24/7 emergency care for pets in and around Swindon.


an image of Tuppence, the cat shot by an air gun, looking relaxed for Vets Now article on cat shot by air gun
Tuppence has now fully recovered from her ordeal

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Wendy added: “Tuppence had serious injuries to her intestine and her spleen had to be removed.

“I have three grown up children and everyone was badly affected by attack on her. Even when Tuppence returned home she still had a plastic funnel around her head and a syringe which we used to give her medication.

“At first, we weren’t sure if she’d make it but, thankfully, she’s since made a full recovery. They did a really good job at the hospital – the staff were just brilliant.”

It was only when Tuppence was admitted to Vets Now in Swindon – and her fur was clipped back – that the gunshot wound was revealed.

Laura Playforth, professional standards director, said Vets Now’s emergency vets treat dozens of cats every year for gunshot wounds.

She added: “Tuppence needed intensive treatment and is lucky to have survived her ordeal.

“Sadly, we see a lot of cases like this and often the owners are completely unaware of the cause of their cat’s ill-health.

“I’m delighted we were able to help Tuppence get over this cruel attack because not all cats are so lucky.”

The Vets Now pet emergency hospital in Swindon – where Tuppence received treatment – is regarded as one of the finest facilities of its kind in the UK.

It’s one of three Vets Now hospitals across the UK that are open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s 58 clinics and hospitals have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.