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Cat bound in duct tape and placed in clothes dryer in Riverside is reunited with her kittens

December 9, 2010 |  4:22 pm

Dryer cat kittens

A mother cat that was discovered in the communal clothes dryer of a Riverside apartment building last week, bound in duct tape and bearing injuries that suggested her abuser had turned the dryer on with her inside it, has been reunited with her six kittens.

A resident of the apartment building, in the 3000 block of Watkins Drive near UC Riverside, called police after finding the cat in the dryer. Riverside County animal services officers responded to the scene and brought the cat, whom they named Snuggles, to the Western Riverside City/County animal shelter. There, the duct tape was removed and Snuggles was found to be in relatively good shape, emerging from her ordeal with only a broken tooth and bleeding in one eye that was expected to heal.

It was quickly determined that Snuggles was a nursing mother, and an effort was made to locate her kittens. One was found Friday at the apartment complex, and animal services staff expressed concern that the other kittens could die if they weren't located quickly. Fortunately, another resident of the building found five additional kittens in a garage Monday night and brought them to the shelter the following morning. All are currently in a volunteer foster home.

Three previous instances of animal cruelty toward cats have been reported at the same apartment complex, according to KTLA. Residents told KTLA that fur and blood were found in the dryer.

Unfortunately, incidents like this "are very difficult cases to get a resolution that we'd all like to see," John Welsh, public information officer for the animal services department, said in an e-mail to The Times, noting that an animal cruelty charge would be tough to prove without a confession or witnesses. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the agency at (951) 358-7387.

The kittens are believed to be about 3 weeks old, and won't be available for adoption until they're at least 8 weeks old. Snuggles most likely won't be available for adoption until the kittens are weaned. Those interested in adopting are asked to send an e-mail with the subject line "Snuggles" to shelterinfo@rivcocha.org.


-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Denise Ericson

Video: Riverside County Department of Animal Services

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