Two tiny kittens have been nicknamed Smurf and Shrek after cruel yobs ‘coloured in’ their white faces with permanent marker pens.
Volunteers at a kitten rescue charity were left shocked when police turned up with the four-week-old black and white kittens.
Smurf’s white bits were inked in blue while Shrek was smeared in green. The kittens were coloured in all over their face and body – even the white tip of their tail.
The kittens were taken to Bradford Cat Watch Rescue Kittens, the first port of call for abused kittens from across West Yorkshire.
Volunteers have seen most kinds of cruelty and consider themselves “unshockable” – but even they were left appalled at the state of the kittens.
Care co-ordinator Katie Lloyd, writing on the charity’s Facebook page, said: “We often consider ourselves to be unshockable. We have dealt with most situations but this is a first.
“The police arrived with these two kittens who I can only describe as four to five-weeks-old who have been ‘coloured in’ most probably with a permanent marker.
“This is a dreadful act of cruelty and who knows what untold damage this may have caused?”
Volunteers took advice from the Veterinary Poisons Information Service on how to remove the ink and if it was likely to prove harmful.
Using surgical spirit and a special vet scrub the volunteers painstakingly bathed the kittens, and used tiny instruments to clean the fur on their faces.
Some of the ink came off with the first wash and the kittens were given milk and put to bed.
Katie, 37, one of 21 volunteers currently looking after 80 cats and kittens at the specially-built rescue centre in Eccleshill, Bradford, said it could take up to two weeks for the kittens’ colour to return to normal.
According to the Facebook page police had been called to a house in Bradford to deal with drugs offences and another animal welfare issue.
It was believed children were NOT responsible for inking the kittens.
The charity provides 24-hour care when necessary and is self-funded.
The charity’s veterinary bill is £4,000 this month alone and they had to cancel a fundraiser last weekend because the centre was full.
Katie launched an appeal for the life-saving care of Smurf and Shrek.
She urged people to donate just £1 by PayPal to email@example.com; by bank transfer to sort code 77-71-62 account number 15692060; or by cheque, payable to: BCWR Kittens, and sent to: BCWR Kittens, 1 Ashbourne Avenue, Bradford, BD2 4AW.