Warning: Graphic image
The owner of a cat that was shot through the eye in Christchurch is searching for answers.
Zane Garlick, from Hoon Hay, told the Herald his cat Eddy strolled into the house at about 10.30am on Sunday and he did not immediately notice anything was wrong.
It wasn't until his partner heard a deep moaning sound coming from the cat did they see the damage to his eye.
They immediately rushed him to a nearby vet, Garlick said.
An X-ray showed the pellet still lodged in Eddy's neck. As it is quite close to his spine, medical professionals have decided to leave it in until he heals.
Garlick said the pellet appears to be the size of a .177 and shot from an air rifle.
They have only moved to the Hoon Hay area in the past year and have no idea who could have done it, he said.
"It's a pretty cool neighbourhood and everyone's pretty friendly. We just think it's some silly young lads that are just going around being stupid."
He said their house backs up against a creek with a primary school behind it.
"That's where we are assuming he may have got shot. He just chills out near the back of the creek.
"He's only 10 months old so he's only gone outside for the last month. He doesn't travel far, always comes home when you give him a whistle."
Garlick said the experience has been one of the most gruelling things he has had to endure as a pet owner.
"Out of all the time I've had dogs and cats throughout the years, this is one of the most gruelling things I've gone through.
"It just makes you think, it doesn't need to happen. It's pretty upsetting actually, especially when it's your best mate."
A police spokesperson confirmed they received a report that a cat had been injured, possibly by being shot with a pellet gun.
"It is not clear whether this was accidental or deliberate and at this stage there are no lines of enquiry."
Anyone with information that may be relevant can report it to police via 105 and quote event number P047394110.
The SPCA is also investigating the incident.