Sunday 22 April 2018

Irish family mourn pet cat 'Tom' shot dead while playing in garden

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A beloved pet cat was shot three times with an air rifle as he lay in the garden outside the family home.

The Ansell family from Tullow were left “sickened and distraught” when they learned of the paralysing attack on their cat ‘Tom’.

“We’re still devastated,” Carolynn Ansell, mother of two boys, Jack (11) and Vijay (7), told

The unobserved incident occurred on the evening of Wednesday, June 25, when Carolynn’s children alerted their mother to the fact that Tom seemed unable to walk.

Immediately, the family rushed to the emergency care vet where it was initially believed that Tom had suffered a stroke.

However, the next morning, the injured pet was x-rayed under anaesthetic and three metal pellets showed up on the scan.

“One of the pellets was lodge in his spine. We were told that Tom would never walk again so we decided that the best thing would be to let him go while he was still under the anaesthetic,” said Carolynn.

Jack and Vijay, with their mother's help, wished to mark the passing of their pet after the procedure.

Tom was wrapped in a white towel and laid beside a rose and lit candle as the family paid their respects.

Carolynn’s mother Jane Kelly is instrumental in running the Carlow SPCA and renowned for rescuing and housing animals.

Tom was rescued by Jane six years ago and given to her grandchildren as the “perfect family pet”.

“The fact that this happened to a trusting family pet as it lay out in his own garden is sickening,” Jane told 

“Some people might think ‘oh it’s just a cat’ but Tom was loved dearly by all of us.”

“Furthermore, this incident highlights just how dangerous these air rifles in estates are – and we would hope that this sort of thing never happens again,” she added.

Last October, over 40,000 complaints flooded into RTE after a cat was machine-gunned in the opening scene of hit show Love/Hate.

The national broadcaster explained that 'Cleo' was unharmed during filming and "in good health" after the scene but viewers were horrified, believing the scene incited violence towards animals.

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