A family pet is fighting for its life after being shot for a second time.

The owners of the cat are currently facing vet’s bills of more than £5,000 after their beloved family pet was shot at the weekend.

John and Ausra Wheatley, of The Campions in Borehamwood, called police after the Maine Coon cat, called Shaggy Too, returned home injured.

The 9kg cat had previously been shot with a rifle in September last year, but survived the injury as the bullet entered his shoulder and came out through his neck.

Then on Sunday, Shaggy Too ran home to his owners with blood dripping through his nose and mouth after being shot in the lower jaw.

Vets are now trying to reconstruct his jaw but his owners are worried he will never fully recover.

The couple said: “There is a wicked cowardly person out there, so please let's try to stop this. We ask everyone to look after their pets and please call us if you heard anything.”

Last year Shaggy’s brother Scooby Doo went missing and has never been found. In 2012 the family lost another cat, Gromit.

Mr Wheatley added: “We have knocked on people’s doors as there other cats around here and we want people to know what has happened.

“Shaggy is not a small cat, so I can’t help but think this was done deliberately. He was shot straight through the head, it is a wicked act and I just hope we find out who did this.”

Police are now investigating the incident and will be looking at activity in the fields behind the family's home.

RSPCA inspector Nicole Broster said: “For this cat to be hit not once but twice is extremely sad. It is a horrible situation and it is difficult to know what happened but with such a large cat it is impossible to rule out that this was done deliberately.

“If anyone has any information they can call the RSPCA inspectorate line on 0300 123 8018.”

Under the Animal Welfare Act, if someone is caught deliberately using an air weapon to injure an animal, they could face a £20,000 fine and up to six months in prison.