Kittens dumped in torrential rain
Looking at the adorable faces of these newborn kittens, it's hard to imagine how anyone could abandon them.
But the four moggies and their mother were dumped on the pavement in a cardboard box, left outside in the torrential rain.
The adult cat and her litter were left in Longridge Road, Preston, outside the RSPCA centre after it had closed at night.
Luckily, an off-duty animal welfare officer discovered the box and took the cats home, before returning them to the centre in a more secure container.
They are now recovering from their ordeal, and charity bosses are appealing for supplies as they say the centre is “overrun” with cats and kittens.
John Wareing, animal centre manager, said: “The mother and her kittens are just terrified.
“They are in our care now but they look scared stiff.
“I don’t know what they’ve been through, or whether that experience was enough to scare them.”
John encouraged cat owners to have their pets neutered, and said: “Every year there are more and more litters.
“We are overrun with kittens, that’s why we put the appeal out for food, we can’t keep up with it. We’ve got 20 kittens at the moment, on top of about 30 adult cats.
“People just leave them in a box on our doorstep and expect us to take care of them.
“We’re not magicians, how can we find the space?
“That’s what the public doesn’t realise, but is it better leaving them at the animal centre or at an industrial park where they are not going to be seen? But the fact is, 10pm, when it’s pitch dark and the gates are locked, it’s a gamble and it’s irresponsible to leave them in the pouring rain.
“Anything could have happened, the box could have disintegrated and the cats would have been loose on Longridge Road.
“It’s just very annoying and upsetting how people can treat animals that way.”
John asked for donations from the public to help meet the demand in the centre, and said: “This is the time we really need help.
“The kitten food disappears so quickly, and we only use wood-based cat litter, which is going very very quickly.”
He said the centre really needed wood-based cat litter and kitten food pouches, and encouraged owners to have their cats neutered.
He said: “You can get cats neutered from eight weeks old. The earlier you get them neutered the better, they can recover so much quicker.”