A thug shot a family cat at close range in the eye.

Sarah Spencer, 44, from Worcester Park, came home on Monday, May 13, to find her young tabby cat, Willow, covered in blood waiting outside their home.

Your Local Guardian:

Thomas Spencer, 8, with Willow 

Willow, a rescue cat from Battersea Dogs and Cats home, had been shot in the eye at close range by what is thought to be an air rifle.

Mum-of-two boys, Mrs Spencer, said: “She’s doing OK [the vets] said she is really lucky.

“I was at work and came home early and she had been in most of the day – mum had let her out at about 3.30pm.

“She was sitting outside the conservatory door meowing. She turned around and was just covered in blood.

“When we found her the eye was bulging it was just a red ball of blood.

“I thought she was going to lose her eye. But vets think the vision in her eye has been saved.

“They think it was done at really close range. Had it been half a centimetre up she would have been killed instantly.

“It’s just really worrying for when I let her out again.”

Your Local Guardian:

Rescue cat Willow

Mrs Spencer initially thought Willow had suffered a puncture wound but after they rushed her to the vets they were informed she had been shot with an air rifle and the pellet was still imbedded in the tissue just below her eye.

As long as she does not develop an infection, vets think she will be fine if they leave the pellet in her face.

Willow has not been the only animal shot in recent weeks a fox cub and several crows have also been shot by someone wielding an air-rifle.

The animal shootings took place in different parts of the borough and are not being linked at the moment.

Police Constable Heath Keogh, of Sutton police, said: “We are known for being a nation of animal lovers but this was an unbelievably cruel and wicked attack on a much-loved family pet.

“If you have any information that could help us, please call. We need to catch the person or persons responsible."

If anyone has any information, they can call police on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.