Are shoot ’em up video games behind airgun attacks on cats?

In the UK, the RSPCA report a sharp rise in pets being shot at with airguns and have suggested that the popularity of violent video games may be a factor combined with boredom. And what about a lack of parental guidance?

Boy with airgun shooting at animals

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

In 2015, thus far, there have been 48 reports to the RSPCA of airgun shootings. At the same time in 2014, there were 18; a 170% increase.

Forty percent of veterinarians affiliated to the British Veterinary Association report dealing with airgun or crossbow injuries to pets.

A vet said:

“The majority are clearly inflicted by low-powered airguns at close range. This suggests children who have been given airguns and are looking for something to shoot….”

Close range? This is incredibly cruel behavior. Have these children and youths lost their moral compass or did they have one in the first place?

An example of this unhappy trend is Angel, a female black and white cat. She crawled home one day. Her caretakers thought that she had been hit by a car.

Their veterinarian diagnosed a pellet wound in her side, which had penetrated her stomach. Her injuries were serious enough for a decision to be made to euthanise her.

Eight miles from Angel’s attack, Wilma, a tabby, was shot about a fortnight ago. It might be the same person doing the shooting.

In the UK, based on my experience of reading about random attacks on cats, airgun and arrow attacks are by far the most common.

Whilst trying to avoid stereotypes, the indication is that bored male youths are idly taking pot shots at wandering cats with the new ‘toy’ that their Dad bought them: a airgun. Although it is an offence, in the UK, for a person under 18 to be given such a weapon or to buy or hire one.

When I was their age, there were no personal computers. The violent video game, often played online internationally, is a new phenomenon and it is disturbing in colouring the attitude of youths to violence, rendering it painless and a turning it into a game.

Airguns don’t require a license in the UK. They are the equivalent of BB guns in the USA.

“Air weapons cause a huge amount of unnecessary suffering and no one should ever be using them on an animal.” (Adam Jones, RSPCA Inspector)

Source: The RSPCA blames video games …..

11 thoughts on “Are shoot ’em up video games behind airgun attacks on cats?”

  1. It is a shame that no one is willing to take responsibility for his/her own actions. About 30-35 years ago, my sister rescued a cat who had been shot with pellet/bb guns repeatedly. She and my mother had to remove the shot from the cat. He suffered PTSD just like war veterans.

    Back then, there was no internet or readily available video games like today. If you wanted to play a video game, you had to go to the video arcade and pay a minimum of a quarter per play. The youths who shot that cat didn’t live near an arcade; the closest was at least 30 miles away. They were just sick and twisted individuals who thought torture is fun. Maybe they didn’t have enough parental guidance, but this sort of behavior can’t be cured with parental guidance, only postponed. I know several such people, many with good parents, who never out grew that behavior. They just turned that “need” towards swindling and cheating people.

    This sort of sick behavior has been going on since the dawn of man. Only recently have the guilty been excused because of societal influences.

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  2. The shooting at animals with air guns even low power, shows a basic disregard for life. How long before some of these youths start shooting at people with something more powerful than an air gun!! Parents, get your parenting skills in order while there is still time!!

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    • Absolutely yes. Everything you say I completely agree with and it’s about time a commitment to good parenting was demonstrated. I don’t want to be overly critical but there appears to be too many feckless parents.

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  3. “And what about a lack of parental guidance?”

    Precisely! What about that lack of parental guidance? Why do people keep throwing their cats where they will be ran-over, eat poison, or be shot to death? Did they all just get their first kitty from mum and were never given instructions on how to properly love a pet and keep it safe from all harms? Must be.

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    • How many people “throw their cats where they will be run over”? For God’s sake Woody grow up. People don’t throw their cats under cars. It is only people like you who throw their cats from cars!

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  4. I completely agree with your assessment of our culture, and others. I’ve seen parents, mothers, especially encourage sexiness in toddlers. What are they thinking?
    It’s pure ego, and stupidity. They’re setting their vulnerable children up for sexual abuse and violence, with predators who are on the look out for this kind of thing.

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  5. As a child, I remember kids having BB guns and slingshots, which were used on live targets. These inhumane activities have been going on since these things were invented. My sons didn’t have either one, and if they did, they never would have used them on animals. I never actually instructed my children not to harm animals, but they learned from my example.

    One of my sons would actually cry if a tree branch was pulled down by another kid. He was very in tune with nature, and loved animals. He would always bring home strays; one time it was a poor dog covered with ticks! They started climbing the walls. We brought the dog to a shelter.

    He doesn’t have a cat or dog, because his wife considers them too much work. She’s a crafter, and I could imagine how much fun cats would have with her yarns!

    So their 2 children are growing up without pets, although their grand father has a dog, which they seem to enjoy. The boy is very gentle, and non-combative.

    My other son recently adopted a shelter cat, and his Thai wife makes him give her a weekly bath, because she
    thinks that animals are “dirty”. I don’t know how the cat responds to this, but I wonder if eventually her skin will get dry.

    I’m so glad that my sons grew up loving and respecting
    animals and people. It’s very sad that so many parents pass on poor parenting and dis-regard for animal and human life.

    I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times, or that we are so much more exposed to these things. One of my sons actually played a lot of video games as a teen, and although I didn’t know for sure, I think that many were warrior type themes, involving weapons and explosives.

    I didn’t restrict him with video games, but I certainly did with violence in movies. I didn’t even allow them to see “Jaws” because I didn’t want them to be afraid of going in the ocean. Later, when they were adults, I asked if they ever saw it, and they both said they had no desire to. Violent movies weren’t allowed, because I knew that visuals had a strong impact, so although I considered myself a very liberal parent, I had my boundaries, which were unusual to other parents.

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    • I believe that violent movies and games over time influence young people. Not all young people but children already predisposed towards the possibility of violence. I also believe that skinny models on catwalks and in adverts influence young girls and sometimes are a factor in anorexia. There are too many negative influences on kids today. They are bombarded with unhelpful images.

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  6. I don’t think this is anything new. What’s new is that we hear more about these incidents. Back in the seventies I lived next door to a terrible family. More than once we had to call the cops because they engaged in paid dog fights in their back yard. They gave a BB gun to their youngest son. That little psycho proceeded to kill every pigeon and squirrel in the neighborhood. He shot dogs and cats. One day I was sitting on the back porch with my mom’s dog, Misty. Dummy took a shot at the dog, hit me instead. I got up, leaped over the fence and chased him into the house. I threatened to ram that gun where the sun don’t shine.

    Someone who engages in that kind of behavior (I’m looking at YOU, Kristen Lindsey) is capable of anything. Several years later the boy doused a pregnant stray dog with gasoline and set it on fire because his equally stupid mom told him to “get rid of the dog.” He tried to sic his own dog on my brothers and sisters and my dog while they were playing in our yard. That stopped when my brother opened the door and pointed a rifle at the idiot, not the dog. The dog refused to attack, so the boy kicked her repeatedly. That same dog had a litter of puppies later on and after the births she quietly packed up her new family and left. Never saw her again.

    A year after that the boy shot and killed his sister’s boyfriend with a shotgun because the man asked him to stop bothering his car. He was caught and sent to prison. For all our sakes I hope he rots in there.

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    • God…that’s a classic story of animal abuse progressing to violence against humans. Horrible. It is sad because although he is a complete monster his life was ruined by a lack of decent parenting.

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      • The parents were idiots and the rest of the kids were too. People like that drag everyone else down. My family had guns in the house, but they were for protection, not hunting. In all those years we never pulled those guns until that family moved in. We were usually easygoing, kept to ourselves, but as soon as those people showed up we had to constantly be on our guard. Two weeks after they moved in one of the kids tried to break into our house. It was pretty obvious that those people responded only to the threat of violence. Talking to them did no good at all. They terrorized a senior citizen who lived on the other side of their house. That lady had a beautiful garden, she used to sit in it spring and summer and enjoy the view, but after those people moved in she couldn’t. The kid shot her with his BB gun all the time. She was too timid to say anything or call the cops.

        The ironic thing is, before he shot and killed her BF, the sister (who was a school teacher) shielded the boy with her body when someone in the neighborhood became fed up with his antics and pulled a gun on him. I never found out, but I really wonder, if she’d known what her brother was going to do to her boyfriend, would she have protected him like that? I don’t know.

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