RSPCA Seeks to Trace Owners of Cats Dumped on Canal Towpath in Derbyshire

The pets were left in carriers which had been labelled with their ages


The RSPCA is appealing for information after two cats were found abandoned by a canal in Derbyshire.

The felines were found in separate pet carriers placed on the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal near to Chellaston last Friday (September 9).

The ages of the female cats, who are called Puss Puss and Mittens (pictured), were written on both carriers. Puss Puss, a black cat, is four years and four months old according to her carrier and Mittens, who has a dark/tortoise shell coloured coat, is one year and three months old.

They were found by a member of the public who took them to a local vets, where they were both given a clean bill of health. Both cats are now in the care of the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspector Ann Bennett is investigating their abandonment and says a check on Puss Puss’ microchip failed to locate her owner, while Mittens was not microchipped.

“It’s a bit strange as one of the cats was microchipped to an address only 20 minutes from where they were found, but the details were either out of date or no-one was prepared to explain how these young cats were dumped so callously along a canal towpath,” said the inspector.

“Fortunately they’d been found by a member of the public walking nearby. Both cats are quite distinctive; Puss Puss was wearing a red collar, while the other cat’s is pink with her name, Mittens, inscribed on it.”

The cats were found at around 10am near to Bridge No 13, which is close to the Bonnie Prince roundabout on the A50. It is likely they were left at the canalside for only a short period of time.


“The woman who found them didn’t think they were there the day before and she walks that route every day,” added the inspector.

“The older cat is very vocal and that is what alerted her in the first place. The tortoise shell coloured cat (Mittens) is a bit nervous. But they are very nice cats and it is a mystery why they were dumped in that location.

“We’d like to hear from anyone who knows anything about how they came to be left there.”

The RSPCA advises anyone struggling to look after their pets to make contact with the many reputable animal welfare charities who can offer help and advice before considering taking such drastic action. You can find information on the RSPCA’s website.

The animal charity is concerned more animals are being given up and abandoned this year because of rising living costs, as well as the huge rise in pet ownership during the pandemic.

From January to July 2021 there were 18,375 abandonment reports compared to 22,908 in the first seven months of this year, which is a rise of 24 per cent.

The RSPCA released the stark figures as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty summer campaign which aims to raise funds to keep its rescue teams on the frontline saving animals in desperate need of help as well as raise awareness about how we can all work together to stop cruelty for good.

Anyone with information about the abandoned cats at Chellaston is asked to ring the RSPCA appeal line number on 0300 123 8018.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.

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