A HELPLESS kitten had to have one of her legs removed after she was shot by mindless thugs.

Police and animal welfare workers have launched a hunt for the attackers after the traumatised pet was left with horrific wounds.

Owner Elaine Boyle, from Renfrew, was shocked when Fizz dragged herself home with a wound on her leg.

She said the seven-month-old black and white kitten has been left "physically and emotionally scarred".

After rushing Fizz to the vets, an examination revealed she had been shot by an airgun. Her thigh bone was shattered and vets were forced to remove one of her back legs.

Owner Elaine branded the thugs as "gutless" as she appealed for help in tracing the attackers.

She said: "Aside from the obvious pain, Fizz has been left traumatised which is truly heartbreaking.

"She is recovering from her amputation but is scarred physically as well as emotionally.

"This has been very upsetting for the whole family and we are all disgusted that someone could do this.

"So far there have been no leads as to who shot Fizz but we are still hoping some information will come to light.

"I have seen quite a few other reports of airgun attacks in recent times and think it is a gutless and cruel crime."

Fizz, managed to crawl to her home in King George Park Avenue, Renfrew, after being shot.

Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, "This is yet another sickening airgun attack on a defenceless animal which has resulted in Fizz losing a leg.

"Anyone who thinks it is acceptable to use an airgun in this way clearly should not be in possession of such a dangerous weapon.

"We welcome the Scottish Government's proposal to introduce an airgun licensing scheme as we believe this will help prevent horrific attacks like this.

"The scheme would ensure that only those with a lawful reason are allowed to own an airgun and it would also help the police trace anyone using an airgun irresponsibly."

Anyone with information is urged to contact the SSPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999 or Police Scotland on 101.

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk