A FAMILY was distraught to find their pet cat dead and dumped in a bin.

Smokey Joe was discovered in Layer Road, Colchester, with wounds to his face and body.

The one-year-old cat had been missing for a day.

Tom Lee, who lives with his mother-in-law Nichola Sharpe, who owned Smokey Joe, said: “The family was absolutely devastated.

“I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done, you should never put an animal in the bin.”

Smokey Joe, was a black and white short haired cat, and had been missing since Friday morning.

When the family went looking for him that night they found him dead in a bin near Hollytree Court.

It is not clear how the cat, which was not microchipped, died. Mr Lee fears he was beaten to death and plans to report the death to the RSPCA.

• If you find a dead cat you can ring the Cats Protection helpline on 03000 121212 and it will try to contact the owner.