RIVERSIDE (CBS) — Officials are looking for the person, or persons, responsible for abusing and torturing a 4-year-old cat found Friday with her face duct taped.
The cat, who apparently is also a recent mom, was found inside a clothes dryer at a Riverside apartment complex.
The feline was discovered early Friday morning in a laundry room at a building in the 3000 block of Watkins Drive, near UC Riverside, according to Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.
He said a resident opened a dryer and found the gray tabby inside with duct tape over part of her face.
It’s unclear whether the cat was in the dryer while it was running, but the feline’s injuries indicated she was, said Animal Services Sgt. Jason Sanders.
“This is an act of a coward,” Sanders said. “Who would do something like this to a defenseless animal?”
The cat suffered a punctured left eye and fractured tooth, according to Welsh.
Animal Services veterinary technician Eileen Sanders said the tabby is able to drink and eat.
“I can’t imagine what this poor thing must have felt going through that ordeal,” Sanders said. “Whoever did this is going to move up and harm other animals, or maybe people.”
She feared the mommy cat’s kittens were starving — “if they haven’t already been tortured.”
Welsh said Animal Services personnel looked around the apartment complex, but couldn’t find any trace of the kitties.
He said a kitten was found in the area a few hours later. Animal control officers weren’t sure whether it belonged to the injured feline, but when the two were introduced, “the little kitty cuddled right up.”
Animal control officers encouraged anyone who might be able to help with the investigation to call (951) 358-7387.
The cat is not available for adoption yet because of its condition.
Welsh said anyone interested in adopting her in the future should e-mail the shelter at email@example.com.
(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)