The RSPCA is investigating after a cat and her five kittens were found dumped inside a box in a remote field in Oldham.
A dog walker discovered the box of discarded animals by chance while she was walking her pet near Ripponden Road last Monday.
The woman approached the sealed box after hearing noises and was shocked to discover the cat and her young huddled inside, with no food or water.
The RPSCA later collected the abandoned animals and said they were lucky to have been found before last week’s heatwave - which would likely have killed them.
Animal collection officer Jess Pierce said: “The mum and kittens were dumped in the middle of a field which makes me think the person responsible had gone out of their way for them not to be found.
"They had no food or water and we have no idea how long they had been left.
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“It is also a good job they were found as they would have undoubtedly suffered a long and lingering death if they were not.
“The box had a few holes in the top and were luckily found on a cooler evening or the recent heat would have probably killed them.
“They must have been so terrified to be dumped like this and were left in such a helpless position.
“It it such a callous thing to do - to simply abandon pets like rubbish and to leave them in such a vulnerable and life-threatening situation is completely unacceptable.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the RSPCA by calling 0800 123 8018.