We're supposed to be a nation of animal-lovers - but the RSPCA has today warned that more people than ever are dumping pets "like rubbish".
In Kent the RSPCA dealt with 970 cases since January. In Essex there were 867 cases, in East Sussex 456 cases, and in West Sussex there were 302.
Our reporter Andy Dickenson has been to see one dog in Kent that was found dumped in a drugs den.
The RSPCA is appealing for information about three cats dumped in a lay-by in a sealed recycling box in Essex.
A black and white male, ginger and white female and tortoiseshell female were all found crammed inside the red box with black lid on the morning of Thursday 9 October, just off the A120 near Harwich.
One small cut had been made on the top of the box, but it was thoroughly sealed with duct tape. The cats were in good health, but in a high state of distress.
The cats have now been taken into RSPCA care and are making a good recovery. They have been named Wallis, Mia and Sandy.
RSPCA inspector Sarah Elmy said: “To dump live animals like this is heartless - anything could have happened to them.
“Thank goodness these cats were found when they were. It was so hot and humid inside that box, regardless of the tiny slit on the top, they could not have survived inside there for very long.
“It must have been absolutely terrifying for them - especially so near such a busy and loud main road.
“We urge anyone with any information about how they came to be dumped like this to contact us on 0300 1234 999.”
Essex was yesterday announced as the ninth county on a national league table of abandonments, with 867 reports of abandoned animals so far this year. RSPCA staff and volunteers have seen an alarming increase in animals being abandoned across the South East, with over 2,136 animals abandoned in Greater London alone since 1 January and 970 in Kent. The charity says it expects the situation to get worse over the winter months.
The RSPCA are appealing for information after a cat was shot in the head in Surrey.
A member of the public found the cat staggering around The Greenway in Epsom, with blood coming out from its ear last Thursday.
The tabby and white male cat was taken to the vets, where it was sadly decided to put the cat to sleep as the damage was too severe.
The cat was also not micro chipped, therefore the owners have not been contacted to let them know what has happened.
RSPCA inspector Maxine Jones said, "This poor cat had clearly been targeted in this callous attack. He would have suffered a great deal and sadly could not be saved.
"Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999."
The RSPCA is appealing for information after two young cats were found in a taped-shut cardboard box on a doorstep in Bournemouth.
The cats, who have been named Rambo and Arnold by RSPCA staff, were found at about 4pm on Sunday 26 January.
The black and white males were found by a lady on her doorstep in Ripon Road. They were in an Amazon box which also contained a cushion and a few dry biscuits. A brick had been placed on top of the box.
RSPCA animal welfare officer Sue Brooks said: “We think the cats are aged between six and 12 months old and they are in good condition, although they haven’t been neutered. They weren’t microchipped and there was nothing to identify them.
Enquiries in the area haven’t resulted in finding anyone who saw anything suspicious or who knows where the cats came from so we desperately need to hear from anyone with information.”
ITV Meridian goes backstage at the performance of musical performance of Cats. Thirty two years after it was first performed, one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, the hit show is ready to entertain audiences in the Thames Valley.
Some interesting facts about the Cats musical:
The original production opened at the New London Theatre, in the West End on 11 May 1981.
-Eight years later it celebrated its first important milestone: after 3,358 performances, Cats became the longest running musical in the history of the British theatre.
-Cats has been translated into ten languages: Japanese, German, (three versions for Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Hungarian, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish, French, Spanish (two versions for Mexico and Argentina) and Italian.
-The Swiss production required a bilingual cast who performed in German and English on alternate nights.
-Memory has been recorded by a variety of more than 150 artists ranging from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace. Barry Manilow’s rendetition was a top-40 hit in the US.
A woman who tried to help a stricken kitten, trapped inside a wall, called the fire service for help. Firefighters used a specialist snake eye camera – the type used to search collapsed buildings – to pinpoint the kitten’s exact location.
Station Manager, Stuart Beadle, said: “It appears the mother belonged to a neighbouring property but had found an opening in a flat roof and gone inside to have her kittens.
“Unfortunately one had found his feet and stumbled two metres down inside the cavity wall. Miraculously, despite being dusty and dirty, he was unharmed and reunited with his mother in less than an hour."
A reclusive woman was eaten by her pet cats after her body lay undiscovered for weeks.
An inquest heard how Janet Veal's body was discovered at her home in Ringwood in Hampshire.
As reported by the Daily Echo http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/10608030.Reclusivewomaneatenbyhercats/ the grim discovery was made after neighbours raised the alarm.
A woman whose three cats died after coming into contact with the pollen from a bouquet of lilies is urging florists to put warnings on their flowers. Sonia Barnett from Hailsham said she did not realise that the blooms could be toxic to her pets. Iain McBride reports.
Beth Skillings, the Clinical Veterinary Officer for 'Cats Protection' the national welfare charity for cats told ITV Meridian:
"We urge owners to be aware of the risks from lilies as they are extremely toxic to cats. Cats can be affected by eating any parts of the plant, and it is thought cats can also be affected by simply brushing past the flower and then grooming the pollen from their fur.
"Cats Protection has been approaching leading supermarkets and florists to ensure that prominent warnings appear on all bouquets containing lilies. We are disappointed that not all supermarkets have yet adopted this practice."
You can find more information by visiting the Cats Protection website.
A cat and her three kittens have cheated death after they were left out with the rubbish and nearly ended up in the back of a bin lorry.Read the full story ›
Viewer Jadine Bieber Griffin sent in this picture of a fox with two cats on her garden shed. The picture received so many hits on Facebook that we decided to show it on here, too.