RSPCA appeals for information after fox in Essex is shot five times
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The RSPCA is appealing for information after a fox was found with five pellet wounds around different areas of his head and body.
RSPCA officers were called after the animal was spotted staggering and clearly distressed in a backyard in Mount Pleasant Road in Chigwell, Essex.
It is the third incident involving an airgun being shot at an animal in just three weeks.
The fox, who eventually collapsed, was found with a metal air gun pellet stuck to his mouth and a small wound to his head.
He was taken to a nearby wildlife centre for treatment and care. X-rays revealed there was another bullet near his left ear, another two near his eyes and yet another one in his right shoulder.
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The extent of the injuries meant the fox had to be put to sleep to end his suffering.
RSPCA inspector Emily Collins said: “I suspected from the word go that this poor fox had been shot – but it shocked me to see the x-rays and how many times he had been peppered with pellets.
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“Someone must have stood there and just kept firing their gun.”
The incident, on Monday, June 23, comes soon after a cat, named Alfie, was shot straight in the eye with an air gun pellet in nearby Chingford. He survived, but lost his eye.
And yesterday (Monday, June 30), there was another report of a cat in Hornchurch who had to be put to sleep after being shot with an air gun. X-rays revealed he had an old, historical pellet lodged in his body as well.
“It seems that there are far too many airgun attacks on animals in Essex at the moment,” said Emily.
“Cats and wildlife seem to be the main target of attacks, simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them. The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal.
“These attacks are often deliberate by people who just don’t care about hurting animals or deliberately targeting animals to keep them away from gardens.
“Anyone with any information should call us on 0300 123 8018.”
To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).