A KITTEN is recovering from horrific injuries it suffered after a "cruel and heartless" person shoved a firecracker inside its anus and set it alight.
Rachelle Beardsworth from Racecourse Road Veterinary Hospital in Ballina said they had been caring for Alvin for three weeks.
"When he came in he was emaciated," she said.
"The wounds looked about two weeks old - it probably happened around New Year's Eve.
"Alvin had burns right down his legs, his fur was burnt and his whiskers had been burnt off.
"He had severe damage around his anus and severe burning inside.
"When we were cleaning him up we actually found the burnt wick from the firecracker.
"I have never seen anything this nasty.
"Alvin is so trusting. He would have trusted the person that did this to him, that's what makes my blood boil."
Robyn Mostyn from Northern Rivers Animal Services said Alvin was found in the residential area behind Ballina Fair in a very poor condition.
"This was all caused by some heartless, sick person placed a firecracker in Alvin's bottom and lit it," she said.
"He's now getting the best of care and so far all of his needs have been covered by Racecourse Road Veterinary Hospital.
"Northern Rivers Animal Ser-vices is now asking for donations to Alvin's Fund to help get this little boy better.
"We can't give up on him now, not after he has fought through the worst of it."
Ms Beardsworth agreed, saying that the 14-week-old kitten had remained "stoic", despite being in serious pain.
"We have all fallen in love with him," she said.
"He was even purring when he was brought into the clinic."
At first it was not known whether Alvin would survive his ordeal.
Yesterday he was taken to a specialist at the Gold Coast, who said the kitten was a candidate for a particular treatment but it will need repeating every fortnight.
"Things are looking really positive," Ms Beardsworth said.
"But because there is the potential for a lot of complications in the future, he won't be able to be adopted out.
"So we'll keep him as our clinic cat. He fits in really well.
"Within the first few days he was cuddling up with Charlotte, a 14-year-old dog who had also been brought in."
The incident has been reported to the police and the RSPCA.
Anyone with information can contact Ballina Police on 6681 8699.
To help with Alvin's Fund, phone Racecourse Road Vet on 6686 9333 or NRAS on 6681 1860.
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