A young Melbourne couple's beloved pet cat Tui has been shot and killed with a dart in a cruel attack.
Maddie Sanft rescued the feline from the RSPCA six months ago. She went outside on Boxing Day to find him dead next to their Chadstone driveway.
The dart was fired 9 centimetres deep into the cat’s back and killed him.
Ms Sanft told 7 News she suspected the attack happened somewhere nearby, and poor little Tui was trying to come home for help.
The incident has left the young woman so worried she is considering moving out of the area.
“Someone, some sick person out there, who is just using an innocent cat as target practice,” she said of the person responsible.
The woman's partner Louis Macloud called the dart a "serious weapon" and said it could have killed a child.
Senior Constable Simon Twarowski said the powerful weapon was worrying.
“It's concerning not just because they've hit an animal, but who knows what else they might be using these kind of weapons for?” he said.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.