A CAT suffered fatal injuries after being shot in the neck with a pellet gun.

Riz, who was due to turn 17, was shot in the small north Dorset town of Stalbridge.

Owner Jill Everall, who met Riz when she helped her friend who fostered cats, found Riz curled up on a chair upstairs in the house looking very unwell.

She said: "The way he was holding his head wasn't normal. There was blood and matted fur around his neck too. He couldn't go down the stairs and he fell. Our local vets wasn't open, so I took him to Vets4Pets in Yeovil where they asked if I knew anyone with a pellet gun. I assumed it was from a cat fight."

The following day, Jill took Riz to their local vets in Stalbridge where they came to the same conclusion that the injury was caused by a pellet gun.

Being shot by the gun caused a massive trauma in Riz's body, resulting in him falling ill very quickly.

Jill said: "On the Friday night, he went downhill. It was horrendous. At times it was like he was in a coma as he wasn't blinking or moving, even when we waved our hands in front of him. So on the Saturday morning I made the decision to let him go. I loved him too much to see him deteriorate further.

"He was magnificent, gorgeous and wonderful."

Now, Jill wants to raise more awareness of the dangers pellet guns can cause to pets as well as wildlife and children.

She said: "People need to know that it's not ok and animal cruelty is not acceptable. It's really unnerving to think that there's people out there with these guns, it's not on. One thing I can do now is get people to raise awareness and report people. I will do right by Riz, he was my companion."

This incident is currently being investigated by Dorset Police.

A spokesperson said: "We received a report at 6.13pm on Friday 24 July that a cat had been wounded with a pellet gun in the area of Church Hill in Stalbridge. The incident was reported to have occurred between 9am and 1.30pm on Wednesday, July 22.

"The cat was taken to the vets for medical treatment and it was subsequently reported that the cat sadly had to be put down.

"Enquiries into the incident are ongoing. No arrests have been made at this stage."

Anyone with information can contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence 55200109120.