In the United Kingdom there is a body of idle, idiotic and nasty young men who get a kick out of shooting high powered air rifle pellets at domestic cats.
It almost seems like an epidemic. It is something that consistently crops up when you do a Google search for animal cruelty in the UK.
Cats are the most likely to be targeted by a youth who wants to shoot at something, anything, as long as it moves and can be killed.
It is the RSPCA who are on the front line in this war against the domestic cat. They say that in 2010 they dealt with 567 complaints relating to air gun incidents. In addition to cats, birds, dogs and wildlife generally are at the receiving end of attacks.
Crucially they say that they only get to deal with a small proportion of the total number of attacks. Many go unreported or the cat simply finds a quiet place to die. The owner has no idea what happened.
The director of the RSPCA Harmsworth Hospital says that the injuries suffered by cats today are much more severe than before. This is because the guns are more powerful. The pellet passes through the skin and smashes into bone breaking it. Internal organs are damaged. More cats are killed.
It seems that youths under the age of 18 are taking air guns belonging to parents. Owners of air guns are now liable to a fine if they don't take adequate steps to prevent this happening. I can see enforcement problems there!
Broken legs are commonplace and injuries suffered by domestic cats cause both cat and human caretaker huge distress.
It is a very distressing situation. The problem is that I can't see it getting better. There is high unemployment amongst young people (Nov 2011). There is a lost generation it is said of youths who have never worked and perhaps never will. What can they do to alleviate the boredom and anger? Get Dad's air rifle and take a few shots at the neighbor's cat, that's what.
Associated page: Cat Abuse and Pictures of Animal Abuse.
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