RSPCA bosses have condemned those who carry out 'mindless attacks on innocent animals' after a cat was shot in Accrington.

Recently Jackie Rawstron had her one-year-old black cat 'Baby Girl' shot by an air rifle pellet in Burnley Road.

Animal campaigners said this was the third incident in Hyndburn where a cat had been targeted with an air rifle this year.

The RSPCA inspectorate is calling for better education and stricter laws on air guns.

Dermot Murphy, assistant director, said: “Our hearts go out to the owners of this poor cat.

“It is difficult to understand how anyone could carry out these mindless attacks on innocent animals and we are backing calls for stricter regulations around owning an airgun."

This comes as staff at the RSPCA said calls reporting airgun attacks on animals is set to reach a five-year high this year.

Anyone caught deliberately using an airgun to injure an animal can face up to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine.