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A cat that was left paralysed after being shot in the spine by an air rifle is to be put down.
Owner Lisa, from Heavitree, Exeter, was given the call by vets to say that her 14-year-old black cat Nermal had been handed in after someone found him in the road.
Lisa, 51, was understandably devastated when she found out her pet had been left paralysed after being shot by the weapon.
The laboratory worker at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital told Devon Live: "It's horrible. Someone found him in the road and drove him to St David's Veterinary Group.
"He is chipped so they were able to call me yesterday at 2.30pm and tell me what had happened.
"They said they had my cat and that he had been shot. It was absolutely shocking. I was expecting to be told he had been run over, not that he had been shot."
The vet explained to Lisa that an x-ray had shown an air gun pellet embedded in the cat's vertebrate.
The mum-of-two added: "They didn't know if it had severed or damaged his spinal cord, but it had left him paralysed.
"He has no feeling in three of his legs and I was told he might not survive. They gave him a bit of time and have been controlling his pain.
"They couldn't remove the pellet because of where it is. They don't know if he was paralysed from inflammation or damage to the spinal cord, but I was called by the vets this afternoon to say he needs to be put to sleep so we're going there now."
Up until this point, Lisa and her two grown-up children hadn't been able to see Nermal, but they have been told that he can be put to sleep in her car to say their goodbyes.
Explaining that Nermal's been a part of their family since he was a kitten, Lisa said: "It's just really sad what has happened to him. He is a big part of our family and is well-loved."
She is now warning others about the incident and hoping that whoever is responsible will think about their actions.
"I don't know how or why it has happened, and I would not want to judge the person who did it," she said.
"Perhaps they don't realise what pain they have caused, or they don't care, but my concern is there is someone doing this.
"Maybe this will shame them into not doing it again, but people should not be using guns as far as I'm concerned and if someone has let off a firearm in the street, how dangerous is that?"
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