Cats Protection Inverurie


Mother cat (left) and her two kittens.
A third had escaped from the box but was discovered safe and well two days later.

A CAT and her kittens were dumped in a ditch on a stormy night and left to die.

The animals were discovered purely by chance after the box was thrown into a ditch just yards away from an animal rescue centre.

The case has highlighted a growing problem of cat abandonment across the Lothians, with almost double the number of cats being taken to animal shelters in recent months.

The cardboard box, which had been sealed up, was spotted by a member of the public on Tuesday night. And it was only when he saw the cats moving inside that he realised there was anything in it.

The box was left just a few hundred yards from the Lothian Animal Welfare Centre in Balerno. Staff at the centre, run by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, were alerted by the passer-by and went to help.

They found a female adult cat and two kittens in the box, which had been partially opened by the animals.

Another kitten, which escaped from the box before SSPCA staff arrived, was discovered two days later after it was heard mewing from the bushes near the centre.

All the animals were said to be under-nourished and clearly frightened.

Staff at the centre said the kittens will be fine, but would require some close attention over the next few days. They will not be put up for re-housing until they are recovered and an investigation into where the box came from and why it had been dumped has been carried out.

SSPCA spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "This was a very cruel way of trying to dispose of these animals, and while I would like to say whoever left them was perhaps on their way to the centre, the fact remains they were left in a ditch on a dark road in horrible weather.

"It was raining very hard and it was cold. The box was taped shut and although the rain meant the cardboard box fell apart so the animals could have escaped, the wet weather and temperature means if they had not been found they would almost certainly have died."

She added that the problem of abandoned cats was getting out of control.

"We have seen the numbers go up dramatically over the last year.

"It seems more people now are opting to buy cats rather than dogs, but at the same time a greater number of cats are being abandoned. We desperately need people to help re-home the animals we have as we are running out of room."

The centre now looks after more than 40 cats - the high end of the number of animals they can take. They have animals ranging in age from eight months to nine years, all in need of a new home.

Manager Diane Stewart said:

"We would generally have at most 28 cats, but at the moment it seems more and more people are simply dumping these animals.

"A lot of them have been brought into us by couples who are breaking up and so can no longer look after the animal, but we also have a higher number of animals simply being abandoned. It is becoming a real problem and I would hope anyone who thinks they could help will get in touch."

Anyone with information on the abandoned kittens, should contact the centre on 0131-449 3979.