A pair of animal lovers has been left distraught after their cat Pickle died after being shot with an air rifle for the third time in months.

The five-year-old ginger and white cat from Yateley was shot for the third time on Sunday July 27 and was put down later that day.

Owners Ellie Robson-Frisby, 30, and her husband Stuart, 31, say they are heartbroken and urge anyone with information about who is responsible for the repeated attacks to get in touch.

Mrs Robson-Frisby, of Cornfields, said: “It is so unfair that Pickle has been stolen from us.

“All the kids in our street knew his name, he was not afraid of anyone.

“We had him since he was a kitten and the fact that he has been shot three times is inconceivable.

“The police are taking it considerably seriously with door-to-door inquiries and we would be really grateful if anyone, who knows anything or heard the shooting, would contact the police.”

Pickle was shot with an air rifle

Two months ago he was shot near his bladder and prior to that he was shot in his ear.

Following medical treatment and an outlay of hundreds of pounds, the ‘friendly and love-able’ cat recovered well.

At around 7pm last Sunday, Pickle returned home and collapsed in front of his owners.

They rushed him to an out-of-hours vet in Crowthorne but were told that this time the pellet had gone 10cm into his abdomen and was too deep for an animal of his size to survive.

“The vet did not think she could fix his wound,” Mrs Robson-Frisby said.

“He was suffering from a lot of internal damage and we had to make the unfortunate decision to put him to sleep.”

She has spoken of the attack on social media and more than 100 people have commented and shared it to encourage anyone to come forward if they have information.

“If anyone else has had their cat injured or their pet has not returned home, please get in touch,” she added.

PC Caroline Owen, from the Yateley safer neighbourhoods team, is leading the investigation and urges anyone with information about this incident, or anyone with concerns about the possession of an air riffle locally, to contact her team.

She said: “This is the third time that this cat has been attacked in this way with further incidents in March and May of this year.

“It is not illegal to own an air riffle in your own home but possession in a public place or the use of these items in any unlawful way will be dealt with robustly.

“We have carried out house-to-house enquiries and will be again making contact with local residents via letter to ensure they are aware of this incident.

“There have not been any other reports of this nature in the area.”

Anyone who can assist with the investigation should contact Yateley safer neighbourhoods team on 101 or call Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555111.