'Please look after': Heart-breaking note left with emaciated cat as RSPCA releases CCTV image

The charity wants to know why the cat was abandoned
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An emaciated cat found dumped on the steps of a Luton office block has had to be put to sleep say the RSPCA. The animal charity is now appealing for help to track the person who left the cat in a pet carrier at the entrance to Christchurch House, in Upper George Street, at approximately 9.15pm on March 26.

The animal welfare charity has released an image of a woman spotted on CCTV in the area – and is hoping to speak to her to see if she can help with its enquiries. The long-haired tortoiseshell cat, called Patra, was left in a pet carrier and was found by cleaners, one of whom took her home and called the RSPCA.

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RSPCA Inspector Michelle Hare is investigating the incident. She said: “A note left with the cat read: ‘Patra, 14 years old. Cannot keep due to children’s allergy, emergency situation! House cat for whole life, owner died so I had her as rescue. Please rehome and look after’. Signed from a ‘single mum’.

“It appears that whoever left Patra at the door cares about her. Not only was she left with a sad note but she was also left at a building which looks a lot like a church so her owners may have felt she’d be safe there. We’ve released a CCTV image of a woman seen in the area and we’d really like to speak to her to see if she can help us with our enquiries.

“Unfortunately Patra was in very poor condition; she was incredibly emaciated, had a badly matted coat, severe diarrhoea, and a serious leg injury which left her unable to walk. We took her to a vet but, sadly, they felt the only option was to put her to sleep to end her suffering. It’s not clear who was responsible for Patra’s care but we’re concerned about how she got into such a state and how long she may have been suffering for.”

The RSPCA is asking the public to get in touch if they have any information which could help identify the woman in the image, or who may have more information about Patra.

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Last year, the RSPCA responded to 20,999 reports about animals being abandoned - more than in 2022, 2021 and 2020. Inspector Hare said: “We don’t know the circumstances that have led to poor Patra being in such poor health or being left alone in Luton. We know that the cost of living crisis has taken a tight grip over many families and we understand that many people are finding themselves in difficult situations so we really want to understand if this may have been the case here.

“The important thing for pet owners to remember is that if they’re struggling to care for their pets, there is help out there - abandoning animals is never the answer. If you can help us identify the woman in the CCTV or know more about Patra and where she came from or how she came to be so poorly, we’d be grateful for that information.”

Information can be reported by calling the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018, quoting reference 1241584.

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