The RSPCA is appealing for information after six kittens were cramped into a cat carrier and abandoned in a Derbyshire street.
The kittens, aged around six weeks old, were found in Gate House, off Main Street, in Long Eaton – on the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire border – on Good Friday (14 April).
RSPCA inspector Dave McAdam said: “The kittens had been squashed into this cat carrier and were very distressed when they were discovered.
“It is appalling to think that someone abandoned defenceless kittens like this. Thankfully they were found and are doing well, but it could have been a much worse situation.”
The kittens are now being looked after at the RSPCA’s Radcliffe Animal Centre, in Nottinghamshire, where they have been named Aneko, Kenji, Sensey, Eriko, Makoto and Kami.
Inspector McAdam said: “We are urging anyone who has any information about how these kittens came to be abandoned to contact us on 0300 123 8018.”
Last month, the RSPCA released its annual Cruelty Statistics, which showed that animal cruelty complaints across England and Wales had increased by 3.5%. In Derbyshire, the number of animal cruelty complaints inspectors investigated in 2016 was 3,246 – up from 3,170 in 2015 and an increase of 2.3%.
RSPCA inspectors investigate more complaints in Derbyshire than neighbouring East Midlands counties Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
Dermot Murphy, Assistant Director of the RSPCA Inspectorate, said: “It never fails to shock me when I look back on the extreme instances of animal cruelty the RSPCA has been called upon to investigate.
“It continues to outrage and sadden me that people can be capable of such deliberate brutality towards animals, but equally it drives me on to ensure that perpetrators of animal cruelty are put before the courts.
“I believe that the figures from last year show that we’re not becoming crueler, but that people are simply less willing to stand by and do nothing if they think an animal is suffering.
“People are increasingly likely to share images or footage on their social media accounts of animals they believe are not being cared for properly, while many will see material their friends have shared and then contact us about them.”
To help the RSPCA look after animals, text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message) or visit www.rspca.org.uk/give.