The Scottish SPCA has launched an investigation after a cat was shot in Aberdeenshire.
The wounded pet was discovered by a dog walker on a path in Fettercairn, close to the cemetery.
The cat’s owner was soon contacted and he was immediately taken for veterinary treatment.
However, efforts to save him were unsuccessful and he was put to sleep.
It was initially unclear what had happened to the animal but an examination by the vet revealed he had been injured by shotgun pellets.
The Scottish SPCA said it was notified by the owner on September 22.
Inspector Karen Cooper said, “The male black cat was found by a dog walker on a path west of Fettercairn, close to the cemetery.
“The member of the public who discovered the cat located his owner who immediately took him for veterinary treatment.
“At that time it was unclear what was wrong, however, further investigation revealed he had been injured by shotgun pellets.
“Unfortunately, the cat was too badly wounded and the sad decision was made to put him to sleep.
“We are concerned this was a deliberate attempt to injure, or kill, a cat which is a criminal offence. We are keen to find out what happened.
“If anyone can help with our enquiry, we would urge them to call our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.“