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SO CRUEL; Caught on camera... the moment that callous owners dumped pet cat in box at RSPCA centre a day after Christmas Cat dumped outside animal shelter.

Byline: Cara Simpson

A HEARTLESS couple dumped their pet cat on the driveway of Coventry's RSPCA centre - under cover of darkness on Boxing Day.

It was a cruel Christmas for the feline, named Smokey, who was placed in a broken pet carrier and left out in the cold by the couple, who drove to the centre late on Monday.

Their callous act was captured on CCTV. The footage shows a small car pulling onto the driveway of the Coundon Wedge animal shelter in Allesley at 11.15pm.

A woman can be seen waiting in the driver's seat while a man gets out of the vehicle to leave the cat at the bottom of the drive. Smokey, believed to be about two years old, was not discovered by staff until nine hours later with the words "my name is Smokey" scrawled on his box.

RSPCA officials say Smokey is another victim of the annual post-Christmas throw out and fear he was an unwanted Christmas present, or had been replaced with another pet over the festivities. Jennie Hamlet, centre deputy manager, said: "Smokey was found by the first member of staff who was on site at 8.30am the next day. He was startled, as you'd expect. "The carrier had been broken so Smokey could have got out and been in further danger of wild animals like foxes. "I wanted to know how long he'd been out there and I hoped he'd not been out there long but when I kept having to rewind the CCTV footage, past 7am, 5am, and past midnight, I couldn't believe it. "Smokey had been there all night, nine hours in total, you could see him moving around the carrier on the CCTV." Centre manager Glenn Mayoll believes Smokey would not have survived if it had been a harsher winter. He said: "Smokey is really lucky the weather has been so mild recently.

"Dumping an animal is bad enough but doing it so he wouldn't be discovered till the morning is just callous. "Anything could have happened to him." Jennie added: "How could someone do that to an animal, especially at this time of year?" Smokey already has a number of people keen to rehome him but the centre urgently needs adopters to come forward to rehome its many other animals. The centre is open from 11am-4pm every day except Tuesday and will be closed at 1pm on New Year's Eve and closed all day on New Year's Day. Contact them on 024 7633 6616.

SEE THE VIDEO Log on to www.coventrytelegraph.net to see the CCTV pictures of the moment Smokey was dumped by her owners

CAPTION(S):

ABANDONED: The cat box Smokey was dumped in left on the driveway of the RSPCA SAFE AND WELL: Smokey with animal shelter worker Glynis Fletcher
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Title Annotation:News; Front Page
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 30, 2011
Words:468
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