A CAT dumped in woodland in a locked carrier was 'left to die', rescuers say.

The unfortunate moggy had a very lucky escape after a dog walker came across it by chance at Chickerell.

But is it 'absolutely unforgivable' that the healthy cat was discarded in such circumstances, an animal charity says.

It says there are many local organisations ready to help people who can no longer look after their pets.

The cat was found in the Chickerell Downs woodland off Glennie Way, hours before a storm blew into Dorset. It is understood no food or drink was left with it.

After being brought to Dave Cumber Vets where it was checked over, the male junior black and white cat, which is under two years old and in a good condition, was taken in by the Weymouth & District branch of Cats Protection. Members have named him Charlie.

With no tag or microchip, there is no indication where the cat comes from.

Branch co-ordinator Gloria Ashwell said: "It was in a closed cat carrier, a very solid box which the cat could not get out of.

"There was no note, nothing, and it was in a fairly remote area. There was no call to anyone to say a cat had been left there. Basically it was left to die.

"It is absolutely unforgivable the cat was abandoned in this way.

"It was a foul night last Thursday night so it is fortunate the cat was found before it got dark."

She added: "We understand that sometimes people find they can no longer look after their cat for whatever reason – but this is not the way.

"There are many organisations which can help.

"We have a waiting list but we would do what we can; people are not on their own.

"Even an anonymous call to let us know would help."

Mrs Ashwell said the branch is now caring for Charlie and if he is not claimed after a certain time he would be made ready for rehoming.

He is the 112th cat to be adopted by the branch this year.

Vet Dave Cumber said: "You have to wonder what the circumstances were for someone to leave a cat in the middle of a wood and not try to contact anyone about it. Were they hoping someone would find it?

"It's not a very public place and it was lucky a dog walker came across it when they did.

"It would've starved to death if no-one had found it."