A couple in a Staffordshire Moorlands village are distraught after a second pet cat was shot.
Socks, a fluffy black and white cat aged around two, had been in the care of Cheadle Animal Welfare Society until he found a new home with Colin and Susan Abell in Endon, in April.
But Mrs Abell said they found Socks hiding under their car on Monday, June 16.
She added: "He didn't look well at all so we took him to the vets.
"He had been shot by an air rifle straight through his chest and the pellet was lodged in his back leg."
Due to the severity of his injuries, Socks was then put to sleep.
It came just four months after five-year-old Bobby, another rescue cat that the Abell's had re-homed, had been shot, again by an air rifle. Mrs Abell said: "Bobby had had the exact same gunshot wound.
"This was just before the half-term in February. He also died."
She added: "We have no idea where our cats roam to. We also have Ginger, who came from the same home as Socks.
"We don't let him out now. Someone has shot two of our cats this year – we don't want to lose another one."
Mr Abell said: "This is a criminal activity which has tremendous affects on the people who own the cats.
"I just want to know why they feel they have to kill cats.
"If you don't like cats in your garden - you can easily deter them by throwing water at them or just by simply shouting at them.
"There is no need for this sort of action."
Victoria Poole, a vet at Willow Veterinary Clinic in Endon, said: "There is no way of knowing if these two cats had been deliberately shot or not, but I can't see how they were not shot deliberately."
"We seem to get one or two a year, but this is the first time that we have had two cats from the same family being shot.
"Both cats were shot at in the same way, so I do think it must be the same person who shot each of them.
"Both cats had internal injuries that were so severe that they both had to be put to sleep."
She added: "There is no advice really for cat owners to stop this from happening.
"I just think these actions are malicious and cruel."
Margaret Russell, a volunteer with Cheadle Animal Welfare Society said: "Whoever is doing this is a danger to the public and also to any other pets.
"The incident with Socks has been reported to the police and anyone who has any information is urged to contact them before any further pets are killed."
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: "We were called on June 17 about a report that a cat had been shot.
"The cat was at the vets, who confirmed that it was a air rifle wound and that the cat had a pellet in the side of his leg.
"Local officers were made aware. There were no lines of enquiry."
The police spokesman also confirmed the incident where Bobby was shot. She said: "We received a call on February 24 that a cat had died.
"It had been operated on by a vet who confirmed that it had been shot by an air weapon. Again there was no line of enquiry."
Anyone with information about either of these incidents are asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.