Kitten saved from young boys' fire

Published Friday, 07 September 2012
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A tiny kitten has been rescued from a group of boys, some as young as nine, who were trying to burn it alive in Londonderry.

Kitten saved from young boys' fire
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.
© UTV News
Comments Comments
Simone Simmons in London wrote (875 days ago):
The problem is that parents can't discipline their children, and the kids grow up as thugs, bullies, and psychopaths. If schools reintroduced corporal punishment, and parents were allowed to smack their kids, these young thugs would have a sense of fear, respect, and wouldn't be so quick to hurt other creatures, who, in my opinion, are usually far more intelligent and compassionate than these little miscreants who should be in Borstals.
Ryan in Belfast wrote (877 days ago):
There is a massive problem with animal cruelty in Northern Ireland and it has to be dealt with. The Law has to be harsher with animal cruelty and impose a no tolerance attitude to animal cruelty. Schools have to be more active in educating children and young people on the treatment and welfare of animals too. It was very lucky that woman caught those children before they did that sickening deed, well done to her.
Andy in Co Down wrote (877 days ago):
This is sickening that such an act could be perpetrated by young children. At nine years old they should know better. We need education on these issues in schools and what the penalties are for such actions. The parents should be reprimanded and prosecuted. Well done to that lady for rescuing this little angel.
leeanne in co.down wrote (877 days ago):
This story makes me so sick why do these people think it is great to carry out this behaviour. I think our system needs to hand out stronger penalties for this sort of behaviour. That poor dog codie aswell makes me sick.
Kevin in United States wrote (877 days ago):
Wow some people are really sick/disturbed. It's even more worrying that these are little kids. Northern Ireland needs to find more constructive activities for children and the big children (adults). Though it comes as no surprise, if the people's cant respect/value human life; why would they be any different to animals. Simply sad.
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