A MUCH-loved family pet was left fighting for its life after being shot in the face in a “horrific and callous” attack.

Sophie the cat had been taken in as a stray by newlywed couple Franceene Hughes, 39, and husband Tim Dykes, 42, of Penymaes, Holywell.

They were both left shocked and disgusted after they found her covered in blood in their garden on Tuesday afternoon.

Franceene, who works for the British Diabetic Association, said: “We found Sophie in the garden and she was all bloodied, we thought she had been run over. She had been shot in the face with an air gun.

“She was bleeding from her eyes, her nose and her ears.

“The pellet is still lodged in her head. She is lucky to be alive.

“This is a horrific and callous thing to do. We have been devastated by this. I cried for two days.

“She is a friendly cat so I think she would have gone up to the person for a stroke and a tickle.”

Sophie has been treated at Premier Vets, in Holywell. She could now be sent to Liverpool for a risky operation to remove the pellet which could cost £1,500 on top of the £300 costs so far.

The couple have now said they will move out of the area.

Franceene added: “After living in London I thought this was a pretty safe community. I want to feel safe and I want my pets to feel safe and I don’t anymore. My faith has gone.

“We were thinking of moving, but we definitely are now.

North Wales Police are now investigating the incident. Flint-based PC Phil Roberts is asking anyone who may have seen Sophie on Tuesday, July 27 between noon-4.30pm to get in touch with him by dialling the non-emergency number 101.