A mum has spoken of her disgust after vile yobs 'tortured' her cat to death before dumping the blood-soaked body in an alleyway.
Chess Pitchford discovered Shelby's corpse abandoned just yards from her home in Tunstall on Saturday.
To her horror, the nine-month-old cat's tail had been cleanly sliced off and discarded just a few steps away, Stoke on Trent Live reports.
Other injuries to the cat – named after the Shelby family in Peaky Blinders – included burn marks to the paws, a swollen eye and bloody cuts and bruises.
The 26-year-old, of Stanley Street, is certain the injuries were the work of a 'madman' cat killer rather than an accident.
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She said: "He had been missing for four days but he's not neutered so I just thought he was after the lady cats.
"Then somebody was walking home from the park and found him in the alleyway.
"They put a post up on Facebook and then got in touch. That's when she sent over the photos.
"I went down to collect him. It was vile. His tail had been cut clean off and thrown about six steps away. There was a bit of bone sticking out of his back end.
"He had blood coming out of his swollen eye and there was blood all on his nose and in his mouth. His paws had also been burned.
"You could tell he hadn't been dead for long as he wasn't completely stiff. He was also soaking wet and it hadn't been raining. It may be that they drowned him to finish home off.
"There's no way this was a car or an accident. He's been tortured to death. It's murder in my books. It might be that he was taken somewhere, tortured and then dumped but it's definitely deliberate.
"I phoned Iris' Cats in Need and they advised me to call the RSPCA and I'm waiting to hear back from them."
Chess – who has three other cats and only got Shelby in May – is yet to break the news of his tragic demise to her young children.
She added: "They're only seven and eight. It's so upsetting. They just think he hasn't come home because he's with his girlfriend.
"Somebody must know what has happened. If you saw someone acting suspiciously I'd ask them to get in touch so the same thing doesn't happen to any other pets. They are scum."
Anyone who can help is asked to call the RSPCA's appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
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