The RSPSC are appealing for information after a rare white squirrel was shot in the head with an air gun in Cannock.
The RSPCA were called to reports of a collapsed squirrel on a field on in St James Road, after a member of the public spotted the animal writhing in pain.
Inspector Laura Baker was sent to the scene and found the poor squirrel screaming.
Inspector Baker could see a pellet wound in the top of her head and it was decided the kindest thing was put to put her to sleep and end her suffering.
The RSPCA say the white squirrel is in fact a grey squirrel born with leucism which is a partial loss of pigmentation to the fur but its eye colour remains the same.
This is different to albino squirrels who have a congenital condition caused by an absence of melanin, which normally gives colour to the skin, hair and eyes.
Laura said: “The poor squirrel was screaming in pain and she kept fitting and thrashing around - it was so upsetting to see.
“It is such a cruel thing to do - often air guns don’t kill animals outright and they are left in agony. Also this one could have had babies which were dependent on her, we just don’t know.
“I know this white squirrel was quite popular with residents living nearby and they would often feed her so they have been left very upset about this incident.
“I believe she may have been targeted because of her unusual colour and the fact she stood out, which is so sad.
“I am now appealing for members of the public to help me trace who is responsible for this cowardly and unnecessary attack.”
Anyone with information about who carried out the shooting, which happened at about 8pm on Thursday June 27, should contact the RSPCA appeals line on 0800 123 8018.
The RSPCA are calling for tighter controls on air weapons. This, along with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun, and requirements that everyone must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk out of the shop could help relieve the problem.
For more advice on what you should do if you encounter an injured wild animal, visit the RSPCA’s website at www.rspca.org.uk/