Warning: This story contains details that may disturb some readers. Discretion is advised.
The SPCA is reminding pet owners to try to keep their animals indoors following a tragic case of animal cruelty.
RCMP were notified about five cats that had been kept in the back of an open truck in a wire crate for about two months, according to the organization.
When officers arrived, they found one cat dead, and four others were living in their own feces and urine, SPCA spokesperson Melissa Shaw said in a news release.
The animals were rushed to the South Okanagan/Similkameen SPCA.
“Sadly, two of the cats were too far gone to be saved, leaving one healthy survivor, Kasey and a very sick cat, Raffi, who will need extensive care to recover,” Shaw said.
Raffi will need entropion surgery on his lower eyelids and oral surgery to fix his teeth and repair a lesion, Shaw added.
He also received treatment for skin irritation caused by urine scald, she said.
“Raffi is very affectionate and has a loud purr and loves to play. He will be so happy to be able to open his eyes and see again after his surgery,” South Okanagan/Similkameen Branch manager Carolyn Hawkins said.
The cat will need approximately four weeks to recover before he will be available for adoption.
The SPCA estimates his total cost of care will reach $1,580.
The Penticton branch at 2200 Dartmouth Dr. is asking for pet and cleaning supplies to care for the cats, such as clumping cat litter, laundry and dish soap.
Meanwhile, the SPCA is recommending pet owners keep their animals indoors during the cold weather.
“This time of year we see a sharp increase in the number of calls about domestic and farm animals who are distress in outdoor situations,” said SPCA spokesperson Eileen Drever.
“One of the most common situations we encounter is dogs who are tethered outdoors in sub-zero temperatures. Animals are safest indoors, but if you must keep an animal outside, ensure shelter is off the ground, insulated from the cold and drinking water is not frozen,” she added.
Anyone who suspects an animal is in distress is asked to call 1-855-622-7722.