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Public's help sought in case of cat bound in duct tape and placed in clothes dryer in Riverside

December 3, 2010 |  6:31 pm

DUCTtapedCAT Animal Services officials in Riverside County are asking for the public's help in finding the person or persons responsible for binding a cat in duct tape and placing her in an apartment building's communal clothes dryer.

A resident of the building, in the 3000 block of Watkins Drive near UC Riverside, called police upon discovering the cat, whose face and upper body had been wrapped in duct tape. Police contacted the animal services department, which brought the cat to the Western Riverside County/City animal shelter for care.

The cat, a gray tabby believed to be about four years old, survived but suffered a broken tooth and internal bleeding in one of her eyes. The eye injury is expected to heal. Because of the injuries, animal services officials suspect the dryer was turned on by the person who bound the cat and placed her inside it, although it wasn't running at the time she was discovered.

Worse still, it has been determined that she recently gave birth to a litter of kittens, which haven't been located despite attempts by animal services officers. They had planned to return to the apartment building Friday afternoon or evening to try to access a locked garage, where someone reported possibly hearing a kitten's meow, when a tenant with access to the garage returned home for the day.

"I can't imagine what this poor thing must have felt going through that ordeal," Eileen Sanders, a veterinary technician with the animal services department who cared for the cat, said Friday. "Whoever did this is going to move up and harm other animals -- or maybe people." 

At present, the animal services department is considering the cat a stray. If her owner doesn't attempt to claim her, she is expected to be put up for adoption.

Anyone with information is asked to call the animal services department at (951) 358-7387.

[Update 12/6: The cat, who's been given the name Snuggles by animal services staff, has been reunited with one of her kittens, KTLA has reported.]

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Sgt. Jason Sanders / Riverside County Animal Services Department

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