A woman is appealing for help in locating the owner of a ferret which was shot.
The ferret was found in a wooden crate in Bourne on Wednesday last week and taken to Oakham Veterinary Hospital.
Lisa Southernwood, who runs Rutland Ferret Club, was contacted and was horrified when she learned the ferret had a pellet in its head and cigarette burns on its back.
The ferret survived the incident and is recovering with Lisa, who has 11 ferrets of her own. It has been named Jack Frost.
The incident has been reported to the RSPCA but Lisa, who lives in Cottesmore, believes it could have been stolen because of its friendly and trusting nature.
She said: “He could have been killed and I just don’t understand who could be so callous.
“What has happened to him is just absolutely awful.
“He’s very friendly and is as good as my own ferrets.”
If no-one comes forward to claim the ferret, Lisa has found someone willing to adopt it.
Anyone who knows what happened or thinks the ferret belongs to them should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.