Animal welfare authorities were called in after a cat was found dumped but alive in a tightly-bound pillowcase in a paddock near Harvey Norman Mount Gambier on Friday.
South East Animal Welfare League Operations Coordinator Marica Perkovic said a member of the public discovered the cat in disttress and called City Council.
No microchip was located upon the cat being scanned and there was no cat that matched its description listed as missing.
Ms Perkovic said as far as SEAWL was aware, incidents like this did not occur frequently across the region.
“Wrapping a cat up like that in a pillowcase to be that tight, that’s to inflict suffering, at the end of the day that’s what it was designed to do,” Ms Perkovic said.
“It’s just unnecessary and there’s no need for it, dumping is dumping and the way they did it is terrible.”
The cat is now in the care of SEAWL and will be responsibly desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and re-homed.
The cat is a fluffy, black and white domestic medium-haired young female who Ms Perkovic said appeared to be in good health.
“She’s lovely, she’s not a feral, she was obviously somebody’s cat,” she said.
“I do not know how she got to be there, I guess that will remain a mystery, but she’s a very nice cat.
“There’s a lot of possibilities of why people do this, we can only speculate.”
Ms Perkovic said psychologically after a traumatic incident such as dumping, dogs generally bounced back rather quickly, but cats could hold grudges for a very long time.
Ms Perkovic did not believe the cat was in the pillowcase for very long, however this did not rule out the possibility of issues down the track and said although animals may not have any physical trauma, they could still suffer mentally.
“It will definitely have flashbacks and a little bit of trauma and then just the feeling of being unsafe,” she said.
“Sometimes they will hide, they will be shy towards new people, or people that remind them of the people that put them in that situation.”
There are legal consequences for dumping animals and other cruelty offences including fines and restrictions of animal ownership.
Ms Perkovic said if a dumped animal was found, people should contact the local council and report animal cruelty cases to the RSPCA hotline on 1300 477 722.