Animal owners living across Stockton Borough are being reminded that Stockton Council's Animal Welfare Service will take in any unwanted pets.
It comes after a cat and two rabbits were found in a bag and recycling box by the Council's Care for Your Area teams on two separate occasions.
The cat was found in a backpack in an alleyway between Knightport Road and St Anns Terrace in the Portrack area on Wednesday 7 August. The rabbits were found in a plastic recycling box on Haffron Street near to the old ‘Spotted Cow’ public house on Friday 9 August.
The council staff came across the animals during refuse collection rounds. They narrowly escaped being crushed in the bin wagons.
The refuse collection teams noticed movement in the bag and opened it to find the cat.
Enquiries are being made to trace the owners. Anyone who has any information should contact the Animal Welfare Service on (01642) 526575 in confidence.
Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, Councillor Steve Nelson, said: "Although we appreciate that people may find themselves in a circumstance where they are no longer able to look after their pet that is no excuse to treat them in such a cruel and distressing manner. No animal should have to go through this kind of ordeal.
"Stockton Council's Animal Welfare Service offers a confidential handover service for anyone who is unable to give their pets the appropriate care. We provide this free service to prevent unwanted animals being unnecessarily abandoned.”
The animals are now in the care of Stockton Council's Animal Welfare Service so they can be re-homed. Anyone interested in re-homing an animal can call (01642) 526557 or 528373.
Anyone who may be struggling to look after their pet is urged to seek advice or assistance at an early stage from the Animal Welfare Service, or another animal organisation in relation to their pet.
To make an appointment to handover a pet call (01642) 526557 or 528373.