NEW ZEALAND – Claims that Southland Boys’ High School students threw a cat off a bridge and into a stream cannot actually be confirmed, the school’s rector has declared.
The alleged Invercargill cat throwing incident that happened on September 6 generated national headlines when Furever Homes Invercargill, which is an organization that re-homes animals needing a second chance, claimed boys’ high students were the culprits.
“To the SBHS [Southland Boys’ High School] students who threw him in and stood by laughing whilst the young girl was rescuing him – what is wrong with you, hopefully, none of you own or have contact with ANY animals in your own homes,” the post stated.
Dozens of readers commented on the post, with the culprits slammed from all quarters.
Boys’ High rector Ian Baldwin, who also condemned those responsible, went on to post a message to “all animal lovers” on the school’s Facebook page on Monday morning saying he had not tracked down the culprits.
Despite numerous pleas to the community, nobody had come forward to confirm the presence of Southland Boys’ High School students on the Lindisfarne Bridge over the Otepuni Creek between 3.25pm and 4pm last Monday.
“The original assertion that several SBHS students were involved in throwing the cat from the bridge can not be confirmed and was based on the perceptions of one frightened 9-year-old child,” Baldwin’s post states.
He had spoken to some eye-witnesses who saw the cat in the vicinity of Newfield Park School at approximately 3.15 in the company of a young girl.
However, he had not yet confirmed how the cat was then found at the Lindisfarne Bridge across the Otepuni Creek between 3.15 and 4pm, when the incident was reported on Facebook.
“I am determined to find the students who were responsible but do not have the information required to do so,” Baldwin stated.
“Having followed the matter up to the best of my ability, I will now leave the matter in the hands of the owner and the family of the young girl who saved it.”
Baldwin went on to explain that he had contacted Furever Homes and the SPCA who had been helpful.
A spokesperson for Furever Homes Invercargill state only focus in the “sad incident” was to ensure the safety and health of the cat, Puffin, who was now home with his owner of 12 years.
Furever Homes believed the young girl bravely rescued Puffin and had no reason to lie about who threw him into the stream, the spokesperson noted.
“We want to thank Mr. Baldwin for trying to find out who did this.”