Boxed, bagged and traumatised, a pet cat has been found by police after it went missing from a South Australian family home.
Where 15-year-old Stitch has been for the last three months remains a mystery, but the owners reported hearing car doors slamming the night he disappeared.
Suffering from an infected wound to the stomach and severely underweight, the grey male cat was found by police officers at 6pm (local time) on Monday, sparking animal cruelty concerns.
The chance find occurred when police noticed a cardboard box at the side of the road at Millbrook in the Adelaide Hills, about 12km west from the cat’s original home in the town of Paradise.
The box was dumped among large boulders and tall grass in a remote location off George Road.
Inside police found a garbage bag which had been tied up with Stitch trapped inside.
RSPCA outraged over ‘deeply shocking’ cruelty
RSPCA South Australia Chief Inspector Andrea Lewis said the incident showed a level of cruelty that should be concerning to the community.
“There is nothing in this situation to indicate this person or persons wanted this animal to survive,” Ms Lewis said in plea for public assistance.
“They must have been aware that their actions had a high likelihood of causing this old cat a slow, terrifying and agonising death.
“When there are so many humane options available to people with unwanted animals, you have to ask what kind of person would do this.
“Animals are sentient creatures – they are not garbage. The cruelty is deeply shocking.”
The owners, who had raised Stitch as a kitten, have been unable to take the cat back into their care due to personal circumstances. The RSCPA have confirmed they are not suspects in the case.
Abandoning an animal in South Australia is a criminal offence and anyone with information in relation to the incident is urged to contact the RSPCA on 1300 477 722.
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