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Stray cat, dog found peppered with shotgun pellets

A dog and a cat are recovering after having been shot and peppered with shotgun pellets, Happy Paws Clinic has reported.

The clinic said the cat was found in Marsascala. It was in a very bad state, lethargic and in pain.

The male cat, named Disco by its rescuer, was rushed into the Happy Paws where it was immediately x-rayed and 150 pellets were found throughout the body.

"Disco is now recovering slowly, running and jumping around and he has been adopted by his rescuer and the outlook for survival is fairly positive," Happy Paws said.

It warned, however, that apart from the obvious pain, lead toxicity can cause anemia (low red blood cell count), gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea), nervous system problems (seizures) and death. Lead also crosses the placenta from pregnant mother to babies and is also excreted in her milk. Thus, the developing foetus and nursing young can be affected.

The injured dog was discovered at 6am on Thursday in Hal Farrug.

Named Moira by the Happy Paws Clinic, she was taken in with blood dripping from her eye and grazes across her face. Over 50 lead pellets were found in her face and neck. The vets at Happy Paws removed the pellets from the eye and cleaned the wounds on the face and it is hoped that the sight will will be saved.

Moira will eventually go to the Island Sanctuary for re-homing as Happy Paws said it was not safe to leave her in the location where she was found.

The dog will also undergo further treatment and Happy Paws Clinic will blood test for Sandfly and have a Ehrli test. Before Moira leaves for the Island Sanctuary, she will be microchipped and be vaccinated.

Happy Paws Clinic manager, Barbie Rixon said "We see many cases of extreme cruelty come into the clinic and even though the government have brought in new legislation, not enough is being done to protect the stray dogs and cats on the island. Dogs Trust, Malta are running an effective neutering campaign to reduce the number of stray dogs but more is needed to be done to reduce the number of stray cats and dogs on the island and to look after the ones that we already have. Happy Paws aim is to help the strays on the streets who have not been fortunate to find an owner."

Funds from the 'Star' fund was used for the treatment of the animals.  The clinic can be contacted on Tel 21227127. www.happypaws.org.mt

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