Family's heartbreak as cat put down after being shot in the eye

Salem, who had to be put to sleep on Friday, May 28, 2021, after being shot in the eye.

Salem, who had to be put to sleep on Friday, May 28, 2021, after being shot in the eye. - Credit: Michala Cooper

A devastated pet owner is warning others to be alert after her cat had to be put to sleep after getting shot in the eye.

Michala Cooper, 42, from Folwell Road in Costessey, and her two children are heartbroken after their three-year-old cat Salem came home on Friday, May 28, badly injured, following three days missing.

Salem, who had to be put to sleep on Friday, May 28, 2021, after being shot in the eye.

Salem, who had to be put to sleep on Friday, May 28, 2021, after being shot in the eye. - Credit: Michala Cooper

The support worker took the female cat, which she'd had from a kitten, to the vet after noticing damage to her right eye.

But it was decided to put Salem to sleep on Friday after an X-ray showed a pellet lodged in the eye. The chances of her recovering from an operation were slim.

Mrs Cooper said: "She came bolting into the house on Friday. At first I didn't notice anything because I was so glad to see her but you couldn't see her eye. She was so quiet and withdrawn.

"We decided it was the kindest thing to leave her sleeping. I'm glad she came home and I got to give her a cuddle. We are in pieces."

The support worker was told by the vet it looked like someone had shot Salem directly and from close range but it is not clear what weapon was used.

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She has reported the incident to Norfolk Police and a spokesperson for the force said officers were investigating.

Mrs Cooper, who has four indoor cats, said: "Salem would have been somewhere with a bullet in the head for three days in pain. I hope the people who did this rot in hell. I don't know how anyone could do this."

Salem, who had to be put to sleep on Friday, May 28, 2021, after being shot in the eye.

Salem, who had to be put to sleep on Friday, May 28, 2021, after being shot in the eye. - Credit: Michala Cooper

She now wants to warn other cat owners and said people could contact her or the police if they had anymore information about it.

The mother-of-two added: "I live in a cat-owning community. People who hurt animals can go onto hurting people. It could be a child next."

Salem, who did go outside but usually stayed close to home, was Mrs Cooper's first cat and was bought as a pet for her six-year-old son when he was just three.

"He would sit there and run cars along her belly. She loved it. She was so wacky and brought so much joy," the support worker added.

Sam Watts, a receptionist at Companion Care Longwater vets, said: "It was shocking and horrendous. Unfortunately there are horrid people out there."


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