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‘Sickening’ animal abuse upsets SPCA

A kitten with both ears cut off was handed into Masterton’s SPCA last week.

The kitten was found and collected on Hope St in Masterton by Loader Construction employee Ryan Douglas, who said he had noticed the four-to-five-month-old male tabby kitten at work on Thursday and managed to catch it the next day.

“He was pretty scared but calmed down a bit after being held – I think he liked the warmth.”

On closer inspection, Douglas realised both the kitten’s ears had been butchered.

“It looked intentional, definitely not an accident,” he said.

Ear cropping is prohibited under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

The only occasion ear tipping of stray cats is supported by SPCA is when it is used as a symbol to identify stray animals which have been desexed.

SPCA Inspectorate Team Leader Ben Lakomy said the kitten was “understandably very nervous” at first but is now receiving the care he needs.

“Sadly, this is something I have seen a handful of times, and it sickens me each and every time. It is not something you can get used to,” Lakomy said.

“This behaviour is extremely concerning, and we would like to hold the person responsible to account.”

Lakomy said events of this nature are not restricted to Wairarapa, citing recent cases of a puppy found in Wellington and another cat in Whanganui, both with their ears cut off.

“It’s horrific,” he said.

“There’s a lot of well-established research that acts of cruelty towards animals can lead to more serious acts of violence towards people.”

Currently, the kitten – now named Leo – is with a foster carer as he is understandably still quite fearful of human interaction.

There is one positive aspect to the story, however: the SPCA has already heard from a local who is interested in giving the kitten a home when he is ready.

SPCA is urging anyone with information regarding Leo’s history to get in touch.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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