A pet cat may need its leg amputated after being shot in a "heartless" attack in an affluent Wellington suburb.
George the cat is awaiting surgery to see if vets can save his leg after a shot from a BB gun or slug gun shattered the fine bones in his shoulder, Khandallah woman Katy Flay said.
Flay and her partner were away last week when George was shot, and their cat-sitter noticed him come home with a limp after a few days missing.
When Flay returned home she assessed George but thought he might just have a sprain, as he was still eating well. But when he did not improve by Monday, she took him to the vet.
An x-ray revealed George actually had a bullet wound and a shattered scapula, she said.
"Because of the way the bullet landed, it's broken quite a lot of fine bones in his shoulder blade, which connects to the leg."
George has been taken to the vet hospital at Massey in Palmerston North, where he will undergo surgery to fit a plate to his shoulder. If this cannot be done and there is no other chance of healing, the leg will need to be amputated.
"It's absolutely heartless and shocking," said Flay.
"It's incredibly worrying behaviour ... absolutely disgraceful. I, for one, am not letting it go easily. This type of behaviour needs to be called out."
Flay rescued George when he was a feral kitten, and said he'd had "a bit of a rough start to life".
"I am incredibly protective of him. I'm absolutely raging ... what makes that person think it's okay to shoot an animal, a helpless domestic cat?
"I'm concerned for the community."
Despite his ordeal, George was "not doing too bad", but it remained to be seen how his recovery would go. The surgery costs $5000, but luckily pet insurance will cover 80 per cent of that.
Flay and her partner posted about the incident on local Facebook groups to raise awareness for other pet owners, and to encourage people to call out cruel behaviour towards animals.
"This behaviour will never be accepted," she said.
The community response had been "fantastic", as well as the response from police and vets, and they were "humbled" by the outpouring of support.
Onslow-Western ward councillor Diane Calvert said she was "very sorry to see this happen to a family pet in a suburban area".
"Occasionally we hear of such stories across our city and it saddens me to think that someone would do this for whatever reason whether it be a game or misplaced ideology," she said.
Police confirmed they had received a report of a cat being shot with what appeared to be a BB pellet in the Khandallah area.
The SPCA has also been notified.