POLICE and RSPCA officials are hunting the callous thugs who glued this tiny, defenceless kitten’s mouth shut.
The five-month-old black cat wandered on to the forecourt of the Shell garage, in Yoden Way, Peterlee, and was spotted by a night-shift worker in the early hours.
She noticed the pet, which was wearing a bright pink collar, had its mouth glued shut, as well as glue on its paws, probably from where it had struggled to clear the glue from its face.
Police and animal welfare officers are now investigating the barbaric act.
The worker who found the stricken animal had alerted Peterlee Police and the RSPCA.
She also contacted the Clifton Lodge veterinary practice, in Horden.
The cat has since made itself at home at the practice since it was found around 4am on July 18.
Staff are appealing for its owner to come forward, though the worker who found it is willing to take it in as it is such an affectionate cat.
Sergeant Iain Dickinson, of Peterlee Police, has slammed those who left the kitten and vowed to try and find the yobs who did it.
He told the Mail: “This was a despicable act on a defenceless animal and we are conducting a joint investigation to find the person responsible.”
Vet Geoffrey Clifford-Brown, who was called out in the early hours to tend to the kitten, gently removed the glue to allow the five-month-old animal to be able to eat and breathe easier.
And he believes the cat is lucky to have survived its ordeal.
Mr Clifford-Brown said: “The people who did this have got a very warped sense of humour and are incredibly cruel.
“I managed to pull the glue off, but fortunately I didn’t need to sedate the cat.
“This could have been even more serious as cats are quite sensitive to poisons.”
Anyone with information should ring police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.