A family from Kings Langley have had to make the "devastating" decision to put their pet cat down after it was shot by an air rifle and left seriously paralysed.

Pepsi, a female Turkish Angora, was found outside on the lawn by her owners after being shot at close range by an air rifle in Roman Gardens in November last year.

She was left seriously paralysed from the waist down because of serious spinal injuries and could no longer walk.

Her owners, the Beeton family, made the decision to put her down just before the New Year because they could no longer stand to see her suffering.

Alan Beeton said: "It hasn’t been a great start to the new year. Nothing was changing and Pepsi’s situation just seemed to be deteriorating.

"She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t able to walk properly and kept trying to go out into the garden and jump up on the fence like she always used to.

"Her bladder movement wasn’t improving and we were constantly toileting her around the clock."

The 34-year-old said he and his wife, Liz, made the difficult decision to put their cat down when they asked their pet's vet for advice.

He said: "We asked our vet to be honest with us and he said we had done really well to keep Pepsi alive but the situation wasn’t going to get any better.

"That was the decision made. We had tried our best to give Pepsi every chance but the quality of life she was living wasn’t a life.

"It was a difficult decision and the whole family is devastated."

The couple also have two children, Alex, 11 and Jasmine, 8 who have been left upset by the whole situation.

Pepsi, who was one and half years old, is now buried in Mrs Beeton’s parents' back garden.

He said: "I buried her in Liz’s parents back garden along with all the other family pets that have passed. She is now in a better place."

After Pepsi’s death, the family remains keen to find out who committed the crime.

Mr Beeton added: "Our neighbours have been left scared by the whole situation and now refuse to let their cats go out at night.

"I still can’t comprehend why someone would do this. The person that did this shouldn’t get away with it."

Pepsi is thought to have been shot at close range sometime between Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25 last year.

Members of the public with information can contact PC Herring via the Herts Police non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference number C2/12/2619 or alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.