A Canterbury cat has survived being thrown from a cliff after being tied in a wool sack.
Thomas the cat was stolen from his family home this week and has since been returned, but not before undergoing a harrowing ordeal.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is investigating the incident, after a group of people travelling Thompsons Track, south of Christchurch, heard the cat's cries and rescued him.
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It appeared the cat had been tossed off Summit Rd after being put in a wool sack. He would have tumbled between trees and rubble before landing on the walking track where he was eventually found.
Thomas was brought to the SPCA by those who found him, and luckily he had been fitted with a microchip, so he could be returned to his relieved family.
"Although Thomas' family are happy he is home, they are distraught that someone could treat their much-loved pet like this," the SPCA's Southern Region general manager, Barry Helem, said.
"Terrible pain and suffering has been inflicted on an innocent cat and it is important that those responsible for this cruelty are held accountable so it doesn't happen again."
The SPCA says Thomas is recovering now, but he had been "very sore", likely from being "thrown off the road into the trees".
If you have any information about the incident call the SPCA's Christchurch centre on (03) 349 7057.
Cruelty to cats has been under the spotlight recently, amid multiple reports of kittens being thrown from the windows of moving vehicles across the country.
Lisa Churchill-Godard, adoption coordinator for charity 9 Lives, told Newshub last month that the charity had around six cases in the last year.
"Knowing that there are about 40 other rescue charities just in Auckland, and considering our six cases, it's pretty much an epidemic."