A six-month-old kitten was shot dead by a sniper in the garden where a young mum’s children play.
Now Claire Wilson, aged 23, fears the cold-hearted killer could strike again if police officers fail to track down the culprit.
Her six-month-old black kitten, Jessica, was fatally injured in Claire’s garden on Dryden Road, Southey Green, Sheffield.
Vets had no option but to end Jessica’s misery when X-rays revealed she had been shot in the chest - leaving a pellet lodged in her lung and causing severe internal bleeding.
Claire, who has two daughters, Alexie, eight, and Isabel, four, said: “Jessica had only just started going out and never left our garden because she was so young.
“When I found her I didn’t know what had happened. I thought she had been attacked by a dog because she was covered in blood, but it was the X-ray which showed up the pellet.
“I am disgusted this has happened - that somebody would deliberately kill a defenceless little animal, especially in a garden where young children play.”
The attack has been reported to South Yorkshire Police, and Claire is offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of the killer.
“I want something done, but the police just wanted me to report it to the RSPCA when I called them,” she said. “This should be treated as a criminal offence - if someone is capable of doing this to a little animal, what else are they capable of?
“I dread to think what could have happened if my children had been playing out in our garden when whoever did this started taking shots at the kitten.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101.