Published Friday, 07 September 2012
The tiny kittens are now going to be rehomed. (© Rainbow Rehoming Centre)
The kitten, thought to be just six-weeks-old, was saved by a woman who challenged the boys over what they were doing when she spotted them in the area close to the Brandywell stadium last week.
The boys admitted what they were doing before running off, but one also told the woman that more kittens were hidden beneath the bushes.
On finding another three of the tiny animals, the woman searched for their mother but was unsuccessful and subsequently handed the kittens over to a local rescue centre.
"We are extremely disturbed and concerned about this latest incident of disgusting animal cruelty," Joanne Mullan, manager of the Rainbow Rehoming Centre, told UTV.
This is now the third incident involving animals and fire in the last two weeks alone.
Joanne Mullan, Rainbow Rehoming
She added that it was particularly worrying just how young the children involved were and appealed to parents to teach their children about how wrong it is to abuse animals.
"We are appealing to parents to educate their children on the fact that animals feel physical pain and emotional fear, just as we do, and that is not right or acceptable to ever inflict pain and suffering on any animal," Ms Mullan said.
"We also feel that education against animal abuse and the importance of responsible pet ownership should be incorporated into schools to try and prevent such acts of cruelty in the first place."
Despite their ordeal, the kittens are now doing well and looking for loving homes.
The incident comes after a dog's body was found at the scene of a deliberate fire in the Springtown Road area of Derry earlier this week.
It also follows the recent burning of Cody the Collie in Maghaberry, near Lisburn - in that incident, the dog survived but suffered serious injuries.