The RSPCA has issued an appeal to find out who dumped a cat in a sealed up box in a remote layby.
The black and white female cat, which has distinctive markings, was found on Saturday evening when a motorist noticed the Boots box, with holes pierced in the top, dumped off Manchester Road, Buxton.
The man reported the incident to the RSPCA and kept the friendly feline in his vehicle until an inspector from the animal welfare charity arrived.
Inspector Anthony Joynes is appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
He said: “It was lucky the man spotted the box and went to have a look inside, the cat could have suffered horrendously if he hadn’t been so vigilant.
“Abandoning an animal is always unacceptable - and sometimes we find them dumped in places where they are more likely to be found like an animal rescue centre - but to dump a cat in a small sealed box in a remote layby next to a fast road is appalling.
“There is never an excuse to simply dump vulnerable animals, it is a callous act and I am keen to trace anyone who can provide me with information as to who did this.
He added: “I am grateful to the member of the public who alerted us to the incident. At this point it is unclear what has happened. She is not microchipped and it is possible that she could have potentially have been stolen and dumped by a third party.”
The cat, which was covered in fleas but otherwise in good condition, is now in the care of the RSPCA where she will be looked after until she is ready to be rehomed.
Anyone with information about the incident should contact the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.