Six cats and dogs have been found thrown away next to roads or on river banks in Marlborough in the past eight weeks, according to a Marlborough vet.
Vet Centre Marlborough veterinarian Charlotte Patterson-Green said cats were being dumped on a regular basis and many go unreported.
The reasons behind it could vary from owners relocating and leaving the animal behind, to not having the money to spay females and not wanting to deal with kittens, she said.
"It's sadly a common occurrence, farmers find boxes of kittens dumped on their drives, cats are taped up in boxes often without breathing holes - the stress alone could kill them," she said.
One of the worst stories she heard was a cat dying after being flung from a moving car in a plastic bag and being run over by another car.
Dogs are less common, but are also left tied to trees and fences.
"Neutering and spaying is a problem, people get pets without thinking it through and then don't take responsibility for their decisions," she said.
Marlborough SPCA Centre Manager Kaycee Polkinghorne said SPCA staff often have people threaten them when they need to turn them away due to lack of space. "It's terrible hearing someone say that they'll just dump them somewhere or kill them."
The SPCA had two puppies in their care that were dumped at the Wairau Diversion aged about six weeks. They were too young to have walked there by themselves, so were definitely left there and never claimed, she said.
Animals can be humanely euthanised for as little as $80, so there is a legal way out rather than letting them suffer.
A case this week revealed it was not always a case of owners dumping their own pets.
On Tuesday night Woodbourne man Regan Ingly saw someone pull a bag out of the trunk of a car on Bells Rd, dump it on the side of the road and then drive off in the other direction. He pulled over to see what was in the bag and was shocked to find a friendly young tabby cat.
"I was horrified by what I just saw. The poor thing would most definitely have suffocated, because the bag was tied shut," he said.
Thanks to help from Springlands Veterinary Centre and her microchip, Sammie was identified and her owner Angela Nicholls found.
She was travelling back from Christchurch and was shocked and very relieved to hear their family pet was OK.
"I can't believe someone would take our cat and put her in a rubbish bag to die on the side of the road, she is such a friendly girl and my daughter loves her.
"We can't wait to get back to Blenheim to take her home," she said.
- The Marlborough Express
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