A cat was found by workers inside a cage trap covered in black bin liner submerged in a stream on the Isle of Wight on 4 December.
RSPCA officers believe the trap had been in the stream for about 2 months. They could determine the cat was aged between 6 and 8 years old, but it was too decomposed to know anything else.
RSPCA animal collection officer Gemma Gumbleton said: “It was deeply upsetting to find the remains of a cat that appears to have been trapped and thrown into a stream.
“It was an action that would clearly have been deliberate. The RSPCA is facing a difficult time with the increasing number of stray cats and cat trapping instances on the island. Harming these poor creatures is no alternative.
“We are appealing for any information concerning this matter to find out who was responsible for such a cruel act.”
Three days later on 7 December, dog walkers found a dead pony floating in a canal in Rugby, Warwickshire.
RSPCA inspectors found clumps of the pony’s hair on the scene and drag marks leading to the edge of the canal. The pony’s body was still warm, so inspectors concluded the pony was dragged into the freezing waters alive and left to drown as he struggled for his life.
RSPCA inspector Louise Labram said: “At the moment I am treating this as suspicious. The soil is really disturbed in places which could mean the pony had been alive and had been struggling.
“There were also clumps of mane and tail hair in the lay-by and drag marks leading to the towpath.
“It is awful that a pony has just been dumped in this way and distressing for anyone who sees the body.
“We have informed the relevant authorities asking them to remove the pony – as we don’t have the statutory responsibility nor the resources to dispose of bodies.”
Anyone with information about either case should immediately call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.