Torture was 'a horrible mistake'
A tale of ''cruel and sadistic'' feline torture at a Hamilton supermarket has turned into a story of hunger and a horrible mistake.
The Waikato SPCA were last week appealing for witnesses after a tabby was found strung upside down and bleeding in the loading dock of the Countdown supermarket in Rototuna.
The cat was found still alive about 7am last Monday by a waste management worker.
SPCA inspector Donna Young said it was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty she had seen in a long time.
The animal's internal injuries suggested trauma akin to being run over a by a car a dozen times, she said.
"Not only did the cat suffer and was in great pain, for someone to go to great lengths to string it up on public display is worrying as it is so cruel and sadistic," she said.
It had been put down due of the extent of its injuries.
Photos of the distinctive floral material used to string up the animal were also released in an attempt to track down the perpetrator.
But the Waikato SPCA says their investigation has uncovered what it describes as ''a horrible mistake gone wrong''.
The owners had moved house and the cat was persistent about going outside, the SPCA said in a statement released today.
The owners thought by tying a robe belt around the cat's waist they could keep him safe, yet the pet managed to escape and had been missing for over two weeks.
While admitting it's no known what happened to the cat, the assumption is that something went horribly wrong as the cat went roaming for food. Perhaps it found its way to the waste bin and got itself strung up.
The episode has cost the owners their pet and they are dealing with their mistake, the statement said. However, this kind of accident is more common than people realise, Ms Young said.
The SPCA has seen many tragic mistakes along these lines, such as dogs tied on ropes hanging themselves, but in this case it could not rule out the possibility of an intentional act.
''This story is very sad, but mistakes do happen and the SPCA pleads with owners to please microchip your pet and if you are unsure about animal care call us, we are here to help,'' the statement said.