By News Staff

Email: news@abc6.com

Twitter: @ABC6

NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) – Investigations are underway to locate those responsible for abandoning a number of cats outside in the cold late last month.

On Friday December 22nd a concerned citizen brought five cats to the Potter League for Animals that had been found after being left inside lobster crates overnight at Newport Shipyard.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA)  said the animals were left without food or water for an unspecified amount of time.

When the citizen went to investigate the containers one of the cats escaped and has not been located as of this time.

After examining the cats the citizen discovered they were covered in flea dirt and scabs, and several of the animals were underweight and suffering from extreme hair loss.

The RISPCA, Newport Animal Control, and Newport Police were all notified and are investigating the incident, clarifying that leaving these animals in a harsh climate without access to food or water is not only cruel, but in fact a crime.

The Potter League for Animals is offering up to $2,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the abandoned animals.

The RISPCA is investigating the incident and anyone with information about the case is asked to call (401) 438-8150, extension 6, or to email them at cruelty@rispca.com.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2018