The feline is now safe at an RSPCA animal centre after his ordeal
A young cat was rescued by a caring member of the public who heard distressed cries coming from inside a zipped up laundry bag abandoned at a park in Hull.
The woman was out on an early morning walk with her dog at Dane Park Nature Reserve last Thursday (26 January) when she noticed the bag moving and went to investigate.
To her shock she found a frightened male grey and white tabby cat inside – desperately pacing from side to side in a bid to get out.
Concerned for his welfare, she picked the bag up and took the cat in her car to the charity’s animal centre in Clough Road.
As the centre is currently full, he was then taken by RSPCA animal rescue officer Gary Cotton, to our Doncaster, Rotherham and District branch’s animal centre in Bawtry, South Yorkshire, where he’s been named Dougie.
Estimated to be around three years old, he’s understandably a little stressed and nervous after what he’s been through, but he’s making progress and staff are confident that given time, Dougie will come round before they find him a loving new home.
The RSPCA believes the cost of living crisis is having an impact on the number of abandoned and neglected animals being seen by its officers.
Gary said: “We think this lovely, friendly chap was probably deliberately abandoned in the park and had it not been for his meowing, and the kind actions of the lady who stopped, we might be looking at a different outcome.
“It must have been a very frightening and bewildering experience for him and it’s just very sad to see a cat – who was presumably once a much-loved pet – being left in circumstances like this.
“With the increase in pet ownership and the cost of living crisis putting a strain on people’s finances, we’re seeing an increase in rescued animals coming into our care at a time when rehoming has slowed.
“A misunderstanding about the true cost of pet ownership is one of the main reasons why we believe that animals end up being abandoned and anyone considering taking on a pet is urged to do their research first and to consider rescuing instead of buying.
“We’d urge anyone who is struggling to look after their animals – at what is a very difficult economic time for many people – to seek advice and support.”
The RSPCA has seen a shocking 25% rise in the number of abandoned animals, along with a 13% rise in cases of neglect, being dealt with by its rescue teams.
The charity’s most recent figures show that to October 2022, RSPCA rescuers dealt with 13,159 incidents of abandonment. This has risen from 10,519 for the same time period the previous year. Incidents of neglect being dealt with by officers have also risen, with 30,500 by the end of October 2022, compared to 27,521 over the same period in 2021.
For pet owners who are worried about the cost of living crisis, the RSPCA has opened a telephone helpline to support callers and a dedicated Cost of Living hub with practical help and advice.
Anyone who recognises the abandoned cat or has information about the incident can contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.