‘Well cared-for’ cat found hanged from tree by side of road
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE. The NT News has chosen to publish a supplied image of the hanged cat (below) to illustrate the scene that confronted unsuspecting passers-by. But we have chosen to censor the image. Please consider whether you scroll down to the image.
.A GINGER cat has been found hanged by the side of a busy road in Darwin's rural area, in full view of passers-by, including distressed young children.
Witnesses said the cat - which was found hanged alongside Gunn Point Rd - appeared to look well cared-for and did not appear to be a feral animal.
RSPCA Darwin general manager Peter King said it was difficult to take action without knowing why or how the cat ended up there but it was "a shocking sight, nonetheless".
"If we had any ideas as to why it was done, whether it's someone who doesn't like cats, that's not the way to handle the situation," he said.
"If it was an owner unable to get rid of a cat or unable to look after the cat, we provide shelters where people can drop off cats.
"This is definitely out of the blue.
"I'm sure there are issues like this occurring but this graphic image isn't something we see all the time, and not something we want to see."
However, the animal welfare organisation does not have the power to prosecute animal cruelty offenders, if they are caught.
The NT government does have the power to prosecute people over animal cruelty offences, and offenders can be fined up to $23,250 or face 18 months imprisonment under the Animal Welfare Act.
The Gunn Point Rd incident has been reported to police by the person who found and removed the cat from the scene.
Mr King said while he didn't know whether the cat was hanged as a word of warning to other cat owners, with the impact of feral cats often catastrophic on native wildlife.
"To keep cats contained in a house or run is encouraged," he said.
"The feral cat population is very, very big, if there is an issue with a cat found to be roaming or causing damage, the local councils can provide a trap to provide people to bring into the council."
Originally published as 'Well cared-for' cat found hanged from tree by side of busy road