A five-year-old girl was left traumatised after she found her beloved cat seriously injured on the doorstep.

The youngster was preparing to go to school when she discovered her 11-month-old pet.

The tabby cat had been shot with an air rifle in the Station Road area of Hellifield in the early hours of last Monday.

She was taken to the vets, who confirmed that there were air rifle pellets lodged inside her.

She later died of her injuries.

“I am just devastated,” said her owner, who asked not to be named. “I am devastated for my daughter who just screamed for two hours.

“She was the most loveable cat ever and used to come and sit on your knee. She slept at the bottom of my daughter’s bed.”

Police say the incident occurred between 4.30am and 8.30am and anyone with information should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12140019835.

Alternatively information can be left on the confidential Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.