The actions of a person who put a kitten into a Child Cancer clothing bin in East Gore during the weekend have been condemned by Gore and Districts SPCA shelter supervisor Cath McDowall.
The kitten was hungry and dehydrated when rescued by police and Mrs McDowall.
It was trapped in the clothing bin because of the nature of the slot, Mrs McDowall said.
The clothing bin had to be cut to gain access to the kitten.
The kitten could have been put in the bin by an owner who could not find a home for it, or it could have been put in the bin by children. Mrs McDowall was alerted to the kitten’s plight by a resident in the area.
“A couple of kids went past and heard the kitten crying,” she said.
The children told an adult they were staying with about the kitten. She then contacted Mrs McDowall at 2.30pm on Sunday.
“I went down and, sure enough, there was a kitten in there.”
Mrs McDowall contacted police who brought bolt cutters to rescue the kitten.
The male kitten was about nine weeks old and was very friendly.
“Whoever did it [placed it in the bin] is an absolute mongrel,” she said.
“There is no physical way the kitten could get in there by itself.”
The bin had been emptied on Thursday. “It’s been in there, I’d say, a couple of days.”
The SPCAhas called the kitten Talbot because he was found in the clothing bin in Talbot St.
Mrs McDowall said the kitten could have been put in thebin by an owner whose cat had a litter of kittens and they could not find a home for it, or it could have been children.
In either case it was a cruel act.
She urged cat owners to get them desexed to avoid an over-supply of kittens that could not be homed.
There was an abundance of stray cats in Gore.
“We’ve got strays all over the place.”
In another case, a business owner had a kitten dumped on his property. It was brought to the SPCA but it was too late to save it and it was euthanased by a veterinarian.
If people had unwanted cats and kittens, they could contact the SPCA and even though the organisation was at capacity, a solution would be found, Mrs McDowall said.
Southland SPCA Invercargill-based operations manager Richard Hay said it was common for people to dump kittens and cats but unusual for them to be put in a clothing bin.
Dumping resulted in stray cat colonies being established and cats breeding quickly, he said.
One of the contributing factors in the kitten population increase was that kitten season did not exist in recent years, Mr Hay said. The mild weather conditions meant cats were breeding year round.
Owners needed to have cats desexed to prevent excessive numbers of kittens being born and the abandonment of unwanted kittens, he said.
Gore District Council communications and promotions manager Sonia Gerken said the local body did not condone the dumping of the kitten in such a manner.