A cat shot in the neck had to have his leg amputated to the distress of his owners.

Archie, who is believed to have been shot with an air rifle or hunting rifle, limped back to his home in Langley Vale, Epsom, on Saturday, March 1.

Livi Smith and Alex, who withheld his surname and address due to fears for their safety, found Archie in the bedroom with wounds to his neck and side.

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Alex said: "We immediately took him to the vet. X-rays showed metal fragments in various places down his left side which led to the conclusion that he had been shot."

Their cat's leg had to be amputated because his elbow was shattered and he had extensive bruising.

Alex said: "Livi was distraught at the news he was going to lose a leg and I’m disgusted that someone thinks shooting animals especially pets is acceptable behaviour.

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"We were due to fly to Spain on the Sunday for a week but cancelled that to look after Archie."

He said the police and RSPCA did not seem to show much interest in the shooting but he said: "Our search to find who was responsible led us to discover that there has been a huge poaching problem on several farms in the area."

Archie, who is recovering well, has adapted to having three legs and is slowly returning to his playful self but does not like being left alone.

A Surrey Police spokeswoman said given the absence of location, witnesses and time of the shooting it would not be appropriate to carry out an investigation.

Archie had ventured out on February 26 before returning with injuries.

She said: "Although there are no active lines of enquiry, the incident has been logged for intelligence purposes and the situation will be monitored."

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An RSPCA spokeswoman said they are very concerns about the suffering of cats shot with any kind of rifle.

She said: "Sadly it is not an unusual incident and cats and wildlife are often the target of air rifle attacks, simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them.

"The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal."

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A tomcat shot in the head died after being found staggering around in the Greenway, Epsom, on February 13.

Police investigated reports that a a kitten died and a cat received seriously injuries due to air weapon attacks in the Fetcham in February.

Do you know of any other cat shootings? Please leave a comment below or email alice.foster@london.newsquest.co.uk