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A cat in labour with four kittens suffocated to death inside a chilly bin after being dumped outside the SPCA’s gates.
The cat has joined a list of 13 others that have been abandoned in the region in just over a month, a number much higher than usual.
It was left outside SPCA Christchurch Centre in Hornby just after 11pm on Friday. The closed chilly bin with the cat was found by staff the following morning.
Said SPCA spokeswoman Jessie Gilchrist: “Our vets believe the cat suffocated to death. She was full-term pregnant with four kittens and appears to have been actively in labour at the time of death.”
Two other cats were found dead at Kennedys Bush, Halswell, on September 26, in an apparent drowning.
Three cats were found in the box, two of which were dead, secured with duct tape and wrapped in soaking wet towels.
“We suspect that the two deceased cats were drowned – based on the fact that the surviving cat was wet,” said Mrs Gilchrist.
The surviving cat was found in healthy condition, other than being scared and timid.
“She’s quite distinctive with her one blue eye, so someone might recognise her.”
Also on September 26, two grey long-haired male cats were found on the edge of the Kaiapoi River, tied in a black plastic bag, which was partly sitting in the water.
Both cats, now named Anzac and Arnie, required medical treatment.
On August 25, four cats were found dumped in a box outside a Christchurch cattery. All four have since been adopted.
On August 31, three kittens were dumped in a box outside SPCA. Two have been adopted.
SPCA chief inspector Jamie Hancock said cats being left outside its gate or at vet clinics was not unusual but it is not usually groups of three or four cats.
People need to call them if they have concerns rather than abandoning an animal, which is illegal, she said.
“September and October is the beginning of kitten season, so it’s a good time to remind the Christchurch community that SPCA is here to help. Our doors are always open for vulnerable animals,” Ms Hancock said.