An east Auckland family has been left reeling after their cat was shot with a slug gun.
The beloved pet named Marble was hit last week in Botany Downs, and later died after receiving surgery.
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Her owners were left so traumatised by the incident, they've chosen to speak out through close friend April Walden.
"Anxiety and fear are the main reasons," she said.
The three-year-old pet was found lying injured on the ground last Thursday.
"My friend came home, and found a trail of blood and followed the blood trail and found the cat. There was quite a lot of blood where the cat was."
They immediately took Marble to the vet, where an X-ray revealed the cat had been struck with a slug gun pellet.
"The slug pellet hit her in the abdomen, and the vet also found four holes in the bowel," Ms Walden said.
The vet said Marble had a 50-50 chance of survival with surgery, but she died four days later. Ms Walden says her friend, and her two kids, have been left heartbroken.
"Very stressful, sleepless nights, the children are absolutely beside themselves," he said.
There's concern this isn't an isolated case. Ms Walden says she's been contacted about two other alleged incidents in the same area, during the middle of last year.
"A boy had been shot by a slug gun, and the skin penetrated, and also a window smashed by a slug gun as well."
Police referred Marble's owner to the SPCA. CEO Andrea Midgen says the circumstances of Marble's death are disappointing.
"It's just not on. People shouldn't be using fire arms on animals."
But sadly the organisation says incidents like this happen about once a month, and those caught doing it will be held accountable.
"We would go through a court process and they could be facing fines community service or imprisonment if it's really serious," Ms Midgen said.
The SPCA is now investigating Marble's death, and is urging anyone with information to come forward.