A Derry man risked his life to rescue a cat which was thrown into the River Faughan in Drumahoe.
The man, who does not want to be identified, saw another man throwing five kittens from a bridge into the water on Thursday.
He confronted the man and asked him to stop, but he continued so instead he ran down to the water, jumped in and managed to rescue one of the kittens.
The other four kittens were washed away before he could reach them to save them.
The man’s brother explains. “He was on his motorbike heading into Drumahoe when he saw the kittens being thrown into the water.
“He shouted at the man to stop, but he paid no notice, so my brother jumped in to try and get them out.
“He did manage to save one of them but it was too late for him to reach the others before they were swept away.
“I think it was very brave of him to get into the water like that and he didn’t think about his own safety at all.
“He is an animal lover and we have a couple of dogs that he loves to take for walks.
“I am very proud of him for what he did and at least he managed to save one of the kittens.
“I took it to the Rainbow Centre for him.”
The kitten who survived has been named Jonah and is about 12 or 13 weeks old.
Joanne Mullan of the Rainbow Rehoming Centre in Derry said it was a senseless act of cruelty to throw the kittens into the river.
“The kittens would have been helpless and terrified,” she said.
“There is no excuse for such acts of despicable cruelty.
“Eddie Campbell’s veterinary practice is based in Drumahoe, very close to this bridge and surely this man could have left the kittens there rather than toss them to their deaths off a bridge into the river.
“We would appeal to anyone who has any information as to the identity of the man responsible to please get in touch us.
“We would also like to acknowledge the act of kindness shown by the passer-by who saved Jonah.
The Rainbow Rehoming Centre was first established by Helen Davies in 1997 in response to the desperate need to find homes for the hundreds of abandoned and unwanted dogs and cats that are found in the Derry and North West every year.
The Centre now accommodates up to 20 dogs and a cattery for 30 cats and 16 cages for kittens and cats.
Anyone who has information on the man responsible for the deaths of the kittens can contact the Rainbow Centre on 02871 812882.