Penny, in the trap she was found in. PHOTO/ CAL ROBERTS

CAL ROBERTS
cal.roberts@age.co.nz

A kitten left to die in a rat trap, surrounded by filth in the Masterton landfill, has been saved by a cat rescue group after a call from a member of the public.

Sally McLennan, a member of the Dump Cats animal rescue charity, came across the kitten last week after a concerned member of the public told her they heardthe distressed animal two days in a row, but could not find it.

As she searched for the kitten, a slight movement caught her eye.

“I pulled a stack of rubbish away to find an extremely small kitten in an equally small rat trap.

“She couldn’t sit upright and she was in her own faeces. She had no food or water.”

A wire near the handle of the trap was digging into the kitten whenever she moved.

McLennan said she initially thought the trap had been placed by dump staff trying to catch rats, and had instead caught a wild kitten.

However, she was assured that no such traps were used on site. She now believes the trap was ditched at the landfill with the kitten in it by a member of the public.

“You make excuses for why it’s not what it looks like – but this time it is what it looks like.”

She said it appeared Penny had been in the trap for at least two days. The kitten was starved, dehydrated, had cat flu and both eyes were infected.

Sally McLennan with the rescued Penny. PHOTO/ SUPPLIED

McLennan and fellow rescuer Tamara Olliver took the kitten to Vetcare, who prepared to free the kitten, but when they released her, they were surprised to find Penny was placid, purring and looking for hugs.

“She doesn’t have a wild bone in her body,” McLennan said.

Vetcare’s Dr Heidi Ward-McGrath said Penny was checked over by a colleague.

“I saw her on the way out, much happier obviously.

“It’s a pretty cruel thing to do, to leave an animal like that, so we were very concerned.”

Dump Cats humanely capture and rehome cats found at Masterton’s landfill site.

To date they had rescued and rehomed about 20 cats since getting approval to operate on-site this year.

They describe landfill staff as “fantastic,” in their support.

The landfill is operated by Masterton District Council, and assets and operations manager David Hopman said there were options available to owners with unwanted pets.

“The first point to reiterate is that we urge all members of our community to contact the SPCA or their vet if they have unwanted animals, and certainly not abandon them.”