Cruelty to moggies appalls SPCA staff
Abandoned cats have been found inside cardboard boxes sealed shut with masking tape in two separate incidents, horrifying SPCA Horowhenua staff and volunteers.
Both incidents happened at the end of last month and SPCA Horowhenua centre manager Linda Schwanner said they were "despicable" acts of wilful mistreatment of animals.
The first box, with three black adult cats inside, was found by an SPCA volunteer walking at Lake Papaitonga reserve.
Two days later a member of the public walking near the Manawatu River estuary at Foxton Beach discovered a sealed cardboard box containing two black female cats and one silver tabby male cat.
Ms Schwanner said the woman heard them fighting and saw the box with movement inside.
"What is particularly concerning is that both boxes were taped shut, possibly with no air holes, and no way for the cats to get out," she said.
"When they were brought into us all the cats were absolutely traumatised. It really concerns us that people think they can do this and it's OK, because it is not. . .even if times are tough."
Ms Schwanner said while the SPCA centre is not a "dumping ground" for unwanted animals, they would prefer people contact them for help, rather than abandon animals.
"These cats were lucky they were found when they were. But it's still really sad."
Ms Schwanner said within the past two months three lots of kittens have been left anonymously at the SPCA in boxes and a bag.
"Among the kittens in the bag was a dead one. It's just awful."
She said offenders could face prosecution with penalties up to 12 months' prison and/or a $50,000 fine.