RSPCA seek man after rats found mutilated in Newcastle pet shop car park

The RSPCA would like to identify a man who was filmed on CCTV purchasing two rats. Credit: RSPCA

The mutilated bodies of two rats were found dumped in a box at a pet shop car park in Newcastle.

The RSPCA is appealing to trace a man who they think could help with their investigation.

A man was filmed on CCTV buying two rats from Pets At Home, in Kingston Park, on 1 April.

The next day, staff found a box in the car park containing the bodies of two mutilated rats - with evidence the animals had been tortured.

The car park where the rats were found by staff dumped in a box. Credit: Google

Staff at the store reported the matter to the animal charity and Inspector Jacqui Miller investigated what has been described as a "sickening and disturbing" case.

Inspector Miller is urging members of the public to study the photos and contact the RSPCA if they recognise the man.

A man filmed buying two rats is described as "very distinctive looking". Credit: RSPCA

A spokesperson for Pets at Home said: “It was a very distressing incident to deal with and we are working closely with the RSPCA to help their investigation."

There were 670 reports of rats in need reported to the RSPCA’s cruelty line last year which equates to nearly two rats a day.

There were also 81 reports of rats being given up and abandoned in 2021.

The RSPCA said rats are often misunderstood by the public but can make good pets as they are friendly and enjoy human company.

Anyone with information is asked to call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.