A CAT who was dumped by its owner on the side of the road has been rescued by an “animal lover” who chanced up on the pet on his way to work.

The man, who gave his name as George, discovered the animal locked in a cage on Grove Green Road in Leyton at around 9.30am this morning (Friday, June 16).

Reports on social media from a man claiming to be the cat's owner suggested he had dumped his pet because he “can’t work with him anymore”.

The cat, who is named Marcus, was handed in to Celia Hammond Animal Trust in Canning Town where he is said to be “healthy and doing well”.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Marcus being cuddled by veterinary nurse Fenna at Celia Hammond Animal Trust.

George, who works in property investment, said: “I was just walking down the road and saw the cat and it looked like somebody had abandoned it. He was making minor noises.

“It was hot outside and I felt sorry for it. I think it was a horrible gesture and I can’t believe somebody could do that.

“I heard someone dumping something and when I looked I saw a cat tree on the footpath and a man walking up the street.

“I called the police and was waiting for them to answer when a woman pulled up in a car and told me to call Celia Hammond.

“I am so grateful to Celia Hammond. They’re doing a great job.”

George arranged to meet Simon Ward, one of the charity’s volunteers, at Canning Town station on his way to work to hand over the cat in the cage.

The 32-year-old who plans to visit Marcus once he is re-homed, said he wanted to keep him but his landlord forbids pets in his house.

The charity was founded by Celia Hammond in 1986 and has a second clinic in Lewisham.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Cat toys were found dumped near Marcus on Grove Green Road in Leyton.

Ms Hammond, who is in her 70s, said: “I am shocked. It’s totally irresponsible of the owner.

“He’s such a beautiful cat and anything could have happened to him.

“There’s an awful lot of animals being abandoned these days.”

Mr Ward said Marcus, whose name was discovered on his microchip, was lucky to have not been found by someone “unsavoury”.

“He’s a fluffy cat and it’s hot out there and he could have been dehydrated locked in a plastic cage,” said the 48-year-old who has been with the charity for 11 years.

“If kids had found it they could have kicked it to death or set fire to it.

“All the owner needs to do is ring a few rescue centres and someone would have come and taken the cat.

“To be honest I have been doing this so long that nothing surprises me anymore.”

To donate to Celia Hammond Animal Trust click here.