TWO kittens just old enough to leave their mother were found in "extreme pain" tied in a plastic bag near Ross-on-Wye, with one suffering from a ruptured eye.

Charity Cats Protections said the kittens, Roxy and Ronnie, were around eight weeks old when they were found by a member of the public inside the bag in Drybrook on the Herefordshire-Gloucestershire border.

Roxy’s left eyeball was extremely swollen and about to rupture, but Ronnie’s right eye had already ruptured, leaving both cats in extreme pain from the injuries, which the charity said was likely to be deliberate.

The two black long-haired male kittens were taken to a vet in Ross-on-Wye where they were given pain medication and it was advised they would need surgery as soon as possible.

The vet called Cats Protection’s Hereford Adoption Centre who took the kittens in and arranged for surgery to take place the next day.

Centre manager Faye Churchill said: “I have never seen anything like it, the kittens’ eyes were bulging out of their poor little heads. They are young, vulnerable cats, only just old enough to be away from their mothers.

Thankfully they both had emergency surgery to remove the affected eyes and are making a fantastic recovery.

“The most shocking part is that they are both very healthy other than the damage to one eye each so we can only assume it was a horrific act of cruelty.

“We don’t know what happened in this awful situation but we are now firmly into kitten season which can be a terrible time of year for unneutered female cats and unwanted kittens.

"It is especially difficult as the pandemic restrictions have meant that fewer cats have been able to visit vets for their neutering procedures.

"We would urge anyone who is unable to care for a cat or kittens never to dump them but to get in touch. We won’t judge, we will simply work with you to find the best solution for the cat."