An eight-year-old boy has been accused of microwaving his neighbour's cat, leaving it with severe internal organ damage.
The owner was upstairs when he heard the microwave being switched on. He came down to discover his cat was inside the appliance and took the animal to the pet healthcare charity PDSA for treatment.
RSPCA inspector Ray Bailey said: “This was an absolutely horrendous incident and all the more shocking because of the alleged involvement of such a young child.
After the incident was reported to the RSPCA, inspectors contacted the Youth Offending Team in Medway Kent, raising concerns about the child's behaviour.
Because the accused child is under the age of 10, the RSPCA and the police are unable to undertake criminal proceedings against him.
The RSPCA reports it prosecuted 82 juveniles over the past three years, for offences including kicking a hedgehog to death, kicking guinea pigs to death and stealing a pet chicken before torturing her and ripping her head off.
The animal protection charity is pushing for tougher penalties for those who commit serious crimes against animals