By YASEMIN TALAT
ANIMAL cruelty is on the rise in the Western Suburbs with a recent spike in attacks towards cats and dogs.
Founder of Western Suburbs Cat and Kitten Rescue Nathan Miles said neglect and cruelty towards animals, especially cats, was common in the Western Suburbs and urged pet owners to be more responsible.
“It is more common than people think,” Mr Miles said.
“We’ve had an increase in cases lately and we have had some really bad cases,” he said.
“Particularly in Brimbank because there’s such a high stray cat population and a lot of irresponsible owners,” he said.
“The community needs to be responsible and treat cats like companion animals.”
Mr Miles said cats were especially a target because the community did not value them as they did dogs.
“Cats are seen in a different way to dogs in society,” Mr Miles said. “Dogs seem to be more valued.”
The concern follows the most recent case last week, when a kitten was found in St Albans with its ears cut off.
Mr Miles said the kitten was tortured and then dumped, before it was found by a resident who contacted Western Suburbs Cat and Kitten Rescue.
“It appears as though someone has taken a pair of scissors and chopped both ears,” Mr Miles said.
“Our main emphasis is to get the cat fixed, de-sexed and micro-chipped and find it a home, where it will be well looked after,” he said.
The kitten was being taken care of at the St Albans Vet clinic and has since been adopted by a Star reporter.
Mr Miles said he hoped pet owners would be more aware of what could happen to their pets and to always be responsible.
“This kitten didn’t need to be born, someone has been irresponsible and not de-sexed their cat and their cat has had kittens,” Mr Miles said.
“This kitten has then either been given away or dumped and someone has been cruel to it,” he said.
Mr Miles said pet owners needed to ensure their pets were de-sexed, micro-chipped and kept within their home premises.