A VET has said the shrapnel wounds sustained by a cat shot in Bexley are the most "horrific" she has seen in 30 years.
Terri Brooke, the owner of five-year-old tabby Missy, is trying to track down the gunman who has now shot three of her pets in the last 18 months.
Missy remains at Park View Veterinary Group in Park View Road, Welling, after enduring a four-hour operation yesterday (FEB 17).
It is still unclear whether she will lose her leg because her injuries are so severe.
The bullet, which was not an ordinary pellet, exploded on impact when it hit her chest and travelled through her muscles shattering her leg bone.
Fragments of metal are clearly visible in the X-ray.
One of Ms Brooke's other cats, Dickie, (pictured below) also lost a limb following a shooting in 2012.
'She is full of shrapnel'
Veterinary partner Mary Cox, who treated Missy, said: "This is the most horrific case I’ve come across in the 30 years I’ve been qualified.
"The bullet entered her chest cavity and travelled through muscle into the leg.
"The force of the impact caused the metal to explode.
"Normally - with a pellet gun - the bullet kind of ‘mushrooms’ inside the body but this bullet has completely shattered her arm bone. She is full of shrapnel.
"We are getting more and more cases like these."
'I will not rest until I have found who did this'
Ms Brooke, of Penn Lane, Bexley, said: "For this to happen once, it could have been an accident.
"But for it to happen three times is disgusting. I am absolutely appalled.
"It happened to my cat, Dickie, around 18 months ago and he lost his leg.
"Then his brother, Rizz, (pictured below) suffered wounds to his shoulder last Wednesday which we originally thought were bite wounds and on Friday, Missy came in with similar injuries.
"I will not rest until I have found who did this. I will hire a private detective if I need to."
The 54-year-old, who runs her own beauty college in Eltham, added: "I put leaflets through more than 100 doors asking for information and lots of people I spoke to said they had heard of this happening to cats in the area."
Ms Brooke is devastated at how the trauma has affected her pets.
She said: "When they came in, they were shaking and terrified. It was so sad.
"They are all rescue cats so they’ve had a hard time anyway."
"Dickie - who lost his leg - is really nervous about going out now - he used to love it but now he’s afraid."
HISTORY OF INCIDENTS
- Black-and-white cat Dickie had a leg amputated after being shot in the leg 18 months ago.
- On Wednesday (FEB 12) his brother Rizz, four, suffered a bullet wound injury to his shoulder.
- On Friday morning (FEB 14) tabby cat Missy, five, came in with similar injuries.
- Vets operated on her leg yesterday (FEB 17). She may lose a leg.