South Shields couple devastated after beloved cat put down following BB gun attack which left it paralysed

A couple were left devastated after their beloved pet cat had to be put down when the pet was left paralysed in a BB gun attack.

Sophie Gray, 24, and her husband Jordan Gray, 28, from the Harton area of South Shields, were stunned when neighbours informed them their pet cat Leeroy was lying seriously injured outside their home.

After rushing Leeroy to the vet, Sophie and Jordan initially believed their cat had been hit by a car.

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But they were sickened when x-rays showed BB gun pellets lodged in the pets spine, leaving him paralysed and seriously injured.

An x-ray of Leeroy showing a BB gun pellet on his spine following the attack

Sadly, nothing could be done to save Leeroy and he had to be put down shortly before Christmas, leaving Sophie, a dental nurse, and Jordan, a HGV driver, devastated and looking for answers.

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“We got a call from our neighbour saying Leeroy was slumped against the wall outside our house looking badly injured,” said Sophie.

"We believe the attack happened around the Central Avenue or North Avenue area near Harton, so he managed to drag himself home from there.

The couple were left sickened and devastated by the incident.

"At first, the vet thought he had been hit by a car, which is quite common, but we decided to get x-rays done and that's when we found out what really happened.

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"When I found out it was a deliberate attack with a BB gun, I couldn’t speak. I was in so much shock. The pellet had gone on to his spine, leaving him completely paralysed.”

She added: “We live in a really nice area and we just can’t understand why anyone would do this. We’ve had Leeroy since he was a baby for the last seven years.

"My initial reaction was that I wanted to move house, it made me not want to live here anymore. I think if we found out who did it and they faced action for what they’ve done we would get a sense of closure.”

Jordan and Sophie Gray with their pet cat Leeroy
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Sophie and Jordan, along with Northumbria police are now trying to piece together what happened to Leeroy and find the person responsible.

Through charities North East Animal Rights (NEAR), Pawz For Thought and through their own money, Sophie and Jordan are offering a £2000 reward for any information or CCTV footage in relation to the incident which leads to a conviction.

The incident is believed to have happened between 3.35pm-4.30pm around the North Avenue, Central Avenue, Central Gardens area, near Harton, in South Shields, on December 22.

Sophie added: “Leeroy was like our little baby, he was our little first born. We have a golden retriever as well who keeps waiting by the window for him to come back. It’s really upsetting.”

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Leeroy had to be put down following a deliberate attack with a BB gun

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “On December 23 we were contacted by a pet owner who reported that their cat had injuries consistent with being shot with a BB gun.

“Enquiries into the incident are on-going and anyone with information is asked to contact us via our website, quoting log NP-20221223-0247.”

Anyone with information or CCTV footage that could lead to a conviction is asked to contact 07716353465 if they believe they can claim the £2000 reward.