The owner of a veterinary surgery which is treating a cat after it was shot with an air rifle is warning people to be vigilant.

Celia Hammond’s animal trust operates out of two centres in Canning Town and Lewisham, treating animals at a low cost from across West Essex and East London.

Now, Mrs Hammond who is looking after the Scriven family’s cat from Loughton says that they are seeing a spike in the number of cats being shot.

“It is usually people with nice gardens, they don’t like cats to be in there because they do like to go to the toilet on fresh soil, or children who think it is funny,” She said.

“People need to do a bit of investigation work and if they hear a gun go off try to figure out where it came from.

“We have seen a real rise in cases recently.

“It is awful. The chances are a lot of cats will be hit in the same area.”

The trust which is one of the closest to Epping Forest to offer low-cost help to people with their sick animals has seen as many as three cats a week come in with rifle wounds at the moment.

Cefa the five-year-old cat is now having her leg amputated after being shot in the town.