The RSPCA has launched an appeal for information after a kitten with “horrendous” injuries was discovered dumped in a carrier bag on Christmas Eve.

The animal welfare charity was alerted to the incident after a man walking home from a local Tesco found the cat with a broken spine and paralysed legs in an underpass near to Wessex Gardens in Andover.

The black and white male kitten, who is thought to have been around ten weeks old, was taken to a local veterinary practice where he was put to sleep due to the severity of his injuries.

RSPCA inspector Alan Browning said: “While many people were getting ready to enjoy Christmas this kitten was being subjected to horrendous cruelty that sadly cost him his life.

“He was found to have a fractured spine probably due to being swung round by the tail.

“It would have been clearly obvious that the kitten had been injured, and an act of callous cruelty to dump it in a bag and leave it in the underpass unable to fend for itself and open to predatory attack.

“It is unthinkable why somebody would treat a defenceless animal in such a way.”

It was not possible for the charity to trace the owner due to no collar or microchip on the kitten.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.