An investigation has been launched by Police Scotland and the Scottish SPCA after a cat was found shot in Fettercairn.
The male black cat was found by a dog walker on a path west of Fettercairn, close to the cemetery.
Inspector Karen Cooper of the Scottish SPCA said: “The member of the public who discovered the cat located his owner who immediately took him for veterinary treatment.
“At that time it was unclear what was wrong, however, further investigation revealed he had been injured by shotgun pellets.
“Unfortunately, the cat was too badly wounded and the sad decision was made to put him to sleep.
“We are concerned this was a deliberate attempt to injure, or kill, a cat which is a criminal offence.
“We are keen to find out what happened.
“If anyone can help with our enquiry, we would urge them to call our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
Police Scotland confirmed they are investigating the incident which took place on September 22 and which is suspected may have been a deliberate act.
A police spokesman said: “This abhorent act is both illegal and inhumane and we are actively pursuing all lines of enquiry.
“If anyone can help with our enquiry, we would urge them to call 101 in confidence.”