An Auckland woman who ran to her cat's aid after hearing his shrieks of pain as he ran home covered in petrol and limping says she believes her beloved pet was "tortured", and isn't the only one.
Tahlia Popata told 1 NEWS she was at her Manurewa home yesterday morning with her sister when she heard her one-year-old cat Blackie loudly crying about 11.30am.
The 25-year-old ran to Blackie and found him doused in petrol with an injured leg. At first she thought it was broken but it has been found to be sprained.
"(It) wouldn't have happened too far from home because he made it back crying to me thank God," Popata said.
"I've never heard him cry like that before, it was so loud his pupil's were large and his heart was racing. I felt very hurt and very angry.
"I took him straight to the shower and tried washing the gasoline of him, I used warm water and Head and Shoulders shampoo. I also checked him to see if there were any open wounds, he was fine."
Popata said when her mum arrived home she called a vet who advised Blackie be washed with dish soap and warm water.
She said after washing him, they couldn't afford to get treatment but thankfully the SPCA helped out with a voucher for Blackie to go to Māngere Veterinary Clinic and receive pain medication.
"He's looking better than yesterday but he ain't himself he's still in shock. I ain't no detective but I believe he was tortured yesterday and he obviously would have tried to get away but his leg got caught.
"I put a post up on Facebook with rage and also because I felt helpless. The community had a lot of advice, love and financial offers to help Blackie, I appreciate them and my family for the support."
But Popata added that after posting online she also heard from another person in the area who said their cat endured the same treatment.
"So this isn't the first time," she said.
In a statement to 1 NEWS, the SPCA said it was "looking into this incident and exploring all possibilities, including whether the cat may have sustained its injuries and fuel on its fur by being hit by a car".
"Anyone with information about how the cat was injured should contact SPCA by calling their local centre."
Yesterday's incident comes after a large number of cats were reported missing on Auckland's North Shore.
"We are aware of one report where a person reported that a large number of cats in the Belmont/Bayswater area have gone missing," police told 1 NEWS two weeks ago.
"We are aware of social media commentary surrounding this but have also seen posts where cats have returned."
SPCA also earlier told 1 NEWS it advised cat owners worried about multiple cats going missing on the North Shore to continue talking with one another and to keep an eye out for the missing cats.
"SPCA simply does not have the resources to investigate missing pets, however if there was evidence of harm then we would absolutely investigate," the agency said.
"In the meantime, owners should consider keeping their cats inside where possible.
"It’s also a great idea for owners to make sure their cat’s microchip details are up to date. Sadly, thousands of animals become lost or go missing from their home each year."
Anyone missing a pet is advised to report it online here.