A young cat is currently recovering after being shot with an air rifle in Ballyclare.
The animal, which has been affectionately named ‘Ginger’ by local residents, is understood to be a stray.
Ginger had been receiving food from homeowners in the Braepark Road area of the town in recent weeks.
Last week the cat, which is estimated to be approximately three years old, was in pain and losing weight.
Ginger was taken to a local vet, who removed the pellet from the cat’s back end.
A local animal protection activist, who wished to remain anonymous contacted the Times to highlight the issue.
They said: “Ginger is currently recovering after the ordeal. One pellet was removed and it is had antibiotics. It will be a while before Ginger is able to go outdoors again.
“I don’t understand why anyone would do this. Someone has gone out of their way to target the cat. The incident has been logged with the police. I would urge all pet owners in the area to be vigilant and to report any such incidents to the PSNI.”
Progressive Unionist Party representative, Scott McDowell said: “I sincerely hope whoever was responsible is caught and dealt with robustly by the law.
“There can be no place for people capable of treating a defenceless animal in this way and I would appeal to anyone with information to please come forward and report it to the police.”