A JustGiving page has been set up to help a family pay for vet bills after their pet cat suffered horrific injuries at the hands of an unknown abuser.
Christina Mattocks, an office worker, said her pet cat Tinker disappeared from their home in Woodville Street in Farington on Saturday, August 3.
The RSPCA are now investigating, after the missing moggy was found two weeks later, on Thursday August 19, severely malnourished and with serious injuries.
That day, Tinker was found tied to railings near Farington Primary after teenagers playing football heard her cries.
The rope around her neck had caused a deep laceration that needed laser treatment, and a wound in her tail had become so badly infected with maggots that it had to be amputated.
Christina said the family has spent almost £800 on medical bills.
"We've had a really tough year," she said, "my husband's mother died unexpectedly in January, and his brother actually passed away the same day that Tinker went missing.
"We just hadn't expected anything like this to happen."
Now, one of Christina's best friends has launched a JustGiving page to help the family pay for Tinker's treatment.
"We're just so grateful to everyone," Christina said, "The laser treatment has helped massively.
"She has started to put on weight now, and she is more trusting again - but it's still difficult".
The Mattocks got Tinker as a birthday present for their 9 year old daughter, Kayla, in September 2018, and the pair have been close ever since.
"Kayla is heartbroken. When Tinker was missing she made posters and put them through letterboxes," said Christina.
"Tinker is just an innocent animal - like a third child for us - I'm just amazed that someone could be so cruel and do that.
"It's scary thinking that it could have been a neighbour, or that it could happen again.
"But keeping her inside forever just isn't fair".