Ginger cat dumped in sealed box with no air holes
THE RSPCA is investigating after this loveable cat was dumped in a cardboard box which had no air holes and was sealed with sticky tape.
And the box was so small the one-year-old feline could not even turn around.
The pet was fortunately discovered in its cardboard prison by a dog walker in Hester's Way, Cheltenham.
The eagle-eyed Samaritan stopped to investigate after spotting the box moving on a pathway between Hester's Way Road and Dunster Road.
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The heartless act has shocked animal lovers.
RSPCA spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Judith Haw confirmed it was a criminal offence and an investigation had been launched.
She said: "We are clearly shocked that people are continuing to abandon their animals, it would appear without any thought for the welfare of the animal.
"Anything could have happened to this cat.
"He could have died if not found. There are no air holes in the box.
"Abandoning an animal in a box is not only morally wrong but legally it is a criminal offence and you are putting the animal's life in grave danger."
The matter was reported at 12.50pm on Tuesday.
The ginger male, which had already been castrated and was wearing a collar, is being cared for at an RSPCA cattery at Hope Farm in Cheltenham.
Heather Theyer, who owns the cattery, said: "It was such a small box and it was taped up so well there was no way he could have got out.
"He is a lovely cat and is very friendly and cuddly. He has obviously been well looked after and had a blue collar on as well.
"It's upsetting that people can do this, when there are facilities available such as Cheltenham Animal Shelter and in desperation, the RSPCA.
"The RSPCA is here for the prevention of cruelty so the initial contact should have been made to the shelter.
"It is one in a long list of abandonments recently."
The young pet is not up for re-homing as the investigation into who owns him continues.
The Hester's Way centre is completely full and has had to shut its doors to more felines, with 21 cats and eight kittens already at the site.
Heather believes the economic climate has played a part in more cats being callously dumped.
Last month the RSCPA started investigating shocking reports when woman dumped her cat and kittens after being told Cheltenham Animal Shelter couldn't take them immediately.
Animal lovers were left disgusted when the tabby cat and her babies were abandoned in a park nearby.
Staff say the woman was seen leaving the pets minutes after being told the shelter could not take them off her hands immediately.
The RSPCA is urging anyone who knows anything about the crime to get in contact with them.
Anyone who recognises the ginger cat pictured or knows where he came from should also contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
Anyone who would like to re-home a cat can contact Heather on 01242 524850.