The RSPCA is investigating after a cat was shot in the throat in the Ghyllside Avenue area of Hastings.
Oliver, a two-year-old black and white cat, returned home shortly before 4pm on Friday (December, 7).
His owner said he had blood coming down his chest and thought he may have been in a fight.
After an x-ray at the vets, it was discovered he had been shot, catching his jugular vein.
According to the vet, the pellet had lodged in Oliver’s spine, dangerously close to nerves next to his leg.
Extensive surgery was required and he is now recovering at home.
His owner said she was horrified and has warned others in her area.
RSPCA inspector Alison Edwards said:
“It is heartbreaking to hear what has happened to Oliver, this could have killed him and it’s just so lucky that he managed to find his way home despite the horrendous injuries.
“I am appealing to the public for any information to this incident.
“I would be keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed this, or may know who was responsible.
“Any information will be treated in confidence.”
According to the charity, anyone caught deliberately injuring an animal with an air gun could face up to six months in prison.
They could also receive an unlimited fine if found guilty.
The RSPCA said cats and wildlife are normally the animals more susceptible to these incidents due to their being out in the open.
Every year, they said almost 1,000 calls are made requiring an investigation into air gun attacks.