WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT
The suspected deliberate maiming of a rescued cat has horrified the SPCA.
The Mangere-based organisation is appealing to the public for information after the tips of the cat's ears were cut off. It was found in Sartors Ave in Northcross near Browns Bay.
An SPCA Auckland member rescued the cat, which is now receiving care at SPCA Auckland Animal Hospital.
Veterinarians described the injuries as a deliberate act of cruelty.
"The injuries are consistent with decisive purposeful amputation with a sharp instrument and not the result of an accident or medical conditions," said SPCA Auckland CEO Andrea Midgen.
Midgen said SPCA are investigating the incident. Individuals can face three to five years imprisonment and fines of up to $100,000 for willful and reckless ill-treatment of animals.
"SPCA Auckland Inspectors are actively investigating this case and asking anyone who has information about this to please come forward," she said.
"Terrible pain and suffering has been inflicted on an innocent cat and it is important that those responsible for this cruelty are held accountable so it doesn't happen again."
A Facebook post by the organisation has attracted overwhelming condemnation of the clipping. Several described the incident as despicable, heart-breaking and horrific.
Save Animals from Exploitation (SAFE) CEO Jasmijn de Boo said animal cruelty in New Zealand is an issue that can lead to domestic violence.
"It's a lot more common than we think," de Boo said.
"What we do know is that people can try cruelty on animals then sometimes progress to domestic violence. Often those people are subject to bullying and violence themselves.
"It needs to be treated seriously."
She said the physical and emotional damage caused by cruelty to animals greatly impacts on their well-being, and sometimes leaves them irreparably socially scarred.
"The acute pain will be horrendous, and if it doesn't receive painkillers it could receive quite a shock.
"It could also make the cat really scared of people."
A cat without ears may be subject to further violence from other cats. Without their ears they cannot communicate to other cats or warn people not to come near them without the ability to pin them back.
Despite the injuries Midgen said the cat was friendly in nature and believed it may belong to someone.
"This cat is very friendly and comfortable around people, and our team believes she could have had a family. We also want to hear from anyone who recognises this cat or can help reunite her with her owner."
SPCA manages an area from Port Waikato in the south of Auckland to Wellsford in the north. With population growth increasing and spreading the organisation is under pressure to reach those animals in need.
SPCA Auckland said anyone with information should contact them as soon as possible on 09 256 7300.