DALES pet owners are being warned that hundreds of animals are needlessly suffering as reckless air gun users continue to take pot shots at animals.
Last year, the RSPCA dealt with 567 complaints, collections and rescues regarding air gun incidents. So far this year, it has already dealt with 165 cases and the charity fears the numbers may soar during the summer months.
Cats are the most frequent victims of air gun attacks but dogs, birds and wildlife have also been injured.
However, the RSPCA believes many cases go unreported or some owners may never know what has happened to their pet as injured animals usually look for a quiet wooded or sheltered area in which to die.
The RSPCA believes the high number of incidents they deal with may only be the tip of the iceberg.
RSPCA Harmsworth Hospital director David Grant said: “We’re seeing far too many animals being brought in for treatment after they have suffered life-threatening injuries.
“It’s distressing to think that people out there think it’s acceptable to treat animals in this disgraceful way. Animals, especially well-loved pets, are needlessly dying and it must stop.”