The owner of a cat who was subject to an appalling act of cruelty in Blyth, Northumberland last week is thanking everyone involved in helping her beloved pet get home safe.

Cat dumped in bottle bank © RSPCA

The young female cat, a Russian Blue-type now known to be called ‘Piper’, was rescued from a bottle bank at Asda on Cowpen Road on Thursday (24 April) where she had been dumped with a plastic bag over her head and all four legs tied together with elastic bands and string.

Owner Stephanie Emsley saw the story on Facebook. She said:

“I just knew it was her.


“I wasn’t sure whether she was okay or not and when I rang the vets I was crying my eyes out.


“Everyone has been brilliant – the lady at the vets, the lady at RSPCA Felledge, the inspector and the people who found her and got her out of the bottle bank at Asda. I’m so grateful to them and can’t thank them enough.”

I’m convinced someone took her

Piper had been missing from home in Cramlington, 3.3 miles from the Asda store where she was found, since 17 March when she disappeared, uncharacteristically, during the daytime.

Stephanie said:

“She wouldn’t usually go out in the day, normally spending most of it sleeping and going out at night. She was such a friendly cat, too friendly really. I’m convinced someone took her.


“She is much more timid since coming home and is frightened of our dog who she used to curl up with.


“We are just so glad to have her back.”

Customers alerted staff to the cat’s plight just after 11am after hearing meowing coming from inside. They then called us.

Diane Barnes, who works at the store, climbed into the bottle bank to get the cat out:

“It was so distressing.


“I just can’t believe what people are capable of doing, she is the loveliest cat.


“After freeing her and getting her out of the bottle bank I just cuddled her till the RSPCA arrived.”

She was literally surrounded by broken glass

Michael Watson, Braxton Watson, RSPCA inspector Trevor Walker and Piper © RSPCAPiper was taken to a local veterinary practice where she was checked over. Amazingly, she had no more than a couple of superficial cuts to her back legs.

RSPCA Inspector Trevor Walker said:

“From speaking with the owners Stephanie and her partner Michael it does seem as though Piper may have been stolen, and I’m concerned to hear that two other cats are missing without a trace from nearby too.


“We’ve had some information that a grey cat has been seen around Asda over the past couple of weeks, and at the moment I think whoever took her may have dumped her when she wouldn’t settle with them.


“We don’t know who tied this bag over her head, bound her legs together and dumped her in the bottle bank, but it seems pretty clear what their intentions were.


“It’s a miracle that she was rescued and that we’ve been able to re-unite her with her owners.


“I want to appeal for anyone with any information about who did this to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 and ask to leave a message for me

We always urge people to ensure their pets are microchipped as it is the best way of ensuring they can be traced back to their owners if found. This is available for a small fee at vet practices and local RSPCA branches often do reduced or free microchipping.

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