Two helpless kittens were discovered by police in West Yorkshire, UK covered in toxic permanent marker. A rescue worker believes the animals may have used as bait in a cruel game where people release dogs on the kittens and bet on their lives.
According to the Huffington Post, the kittens, roughly 4- to 5-weeks-old, were discovered with green and blue ink on the white part of their fur. Officers were actually looking into another animal cruelty case when they found the kittens. Both of them are reportedly traumatized and lethargic.
Since their rescue, both kittens have been treated at Bradford Cat Watch Rescue Centre. Along with respiratory issues possibly caused by the permanent marker, the kittens are also suffering from mouth ulcers and having difficulties eating. Not only could the permanent marker absorb through the skin of the kittens and cause organ damage, cats also lick themselves clean, meaning the kittens could have ingested the toxic ink. However, they are reportedly “on the mend” after a thorough bath and lots of love and care.
“Here at BCWR Kittens, we often consider ourselves to be unshockable, we have dealt with most situations but this is a first,” said Katie Jane Lloyd, a BCWR spokesperson. “This is a dreadful act of cruelty and who knows what untelling damage this may have caused. We have sought veterinary advice and I have just contacted the poisons unit to ascertain what would be safe to use on them to try to remove the ink.”
Lloyd claimed it was difficult to remove the ink completely. While they could scrub the marker off the bodies of the kittens aggressively, they had to be more gentle while washing their faces. Photos of the kittens after their bath still show small amounts of ink on the fur around their noses and mouths. Despite the cruel memory of the coloring, the rescuers named the kittens based on the green and blue colors they were found in; Shrek and Smurf, respectively.
“We have been nursing these kittens for the last 36 hours and they are now much brighter… in personality,” Lloyd later posted on Facebook. “The colour is fading and they are now taking their feeds well.”
According to Refinery 29, police are not exactly sure what sort of cruelty these kittens were involved in, but authorities don’t believe it was simply the work of misbehaving children. The story bears a disturbing resemblance to another kitten named Smurf who was rescued with blue ink all over his body. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this kitten was found with severe puncture wounds, leading investigators to believe the animal had been attacked by a dog.
This supports Lloyd’s horrifying theory that both kittens were used in a violent blood sport involving betting on dogs to kill baby animals. The game is called “dog-baiting.” The kittens were likely thrown into an arena of vicious dogs and colored so that participants could keep track of which kitten was killed first.
“This is not just a couple of idiots coloring in kittens. This is serious barbaric cruelty. If these kittens were not rescued I am sure they would have been dead within an hour of two.”
That said, Lloyd admits she has no evidence outside the ink that the kittens were involved in “dog-baiting.” But with such an identical story happening earlier this year that did involve a dog attacking a kitten, it’s hard to deny the possibility.
While the kittens’ story ends happily, the rescue center was left with a $5,800 bill for the care of these kittens alone. To help out, you can donate here.
Do you think the kittens were rescued from a cruel blood sport?
[Photos via Facebook]