Published: 10:15, 14 April 2021
| Updated: 15:54, 14 April 2021
Nineteen mice have been found dumped in a "home-made cage" in woodland.
The RSPCA was called after a dog walker made the discovery at a patch of undergrowth and woodland at the junction of Boxley Road and Sandy Lane in Maidstone on Monday morning.
Animal rescue officer Emma Byrne was tasked with taking the 19 pointy-snouted rodents in to be cared for by the charity.
"The mice were inside a cardboard food pouches box with bedding and the box was inside a plastic storage crate with cardboard lining," she said.
"It had been left on its side, open and with a plastic pot with water just outside. It’s almost as if they’d been left to encourage them to venture into the undergrowth but they never would have survived in the wild.
"A dog walker found the mice and took the box home before calling us. He was worried they’d freeze as the temperature was so cold. The mice all seem healthy although we believe some of the females may be pregnant and it looks as though the males have been fighting.”
The tiny critters are now being cared for by staff at RSPCA Leybourne Animal Centre, where they have been split into suitable pairs and groups. Some of the mice are currently sick and are being treated by vets.
"It was incredibly irresponsible to dump the mice like this..."
If the little animals are not claimed then they will be rehomed when ready.
Emma said: "These poor mice are very vulnerable and would never have survived in the wild, especially not with the cold weather we've been seeing recently.
"It was incredibly irresponsible to dump the mice like this and to encourage them to escape into the wild. We’d like to hear from anyone with any information about these mice."
Anyone with information is asked to call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018