West Ham footballer, Kurt Zouma’s two cats have been taken away by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, RSPCA, after shocking footage showed him abusing them.
The 27-year-old French defender was filmed dropping, kicking, and slapping one of his Bengal cats.
His club, West Ham has also fined him £250,000, two weeks’ worth of wages, and axed him from the squad for the next game.
The RSPCA also revealed they were ‘dealing’ with the issue before The Sun broke the story and are leading the investigation.
A spokesperson said: ‘The two cats are now in RSPCA care. Our priority is and has always been the wellbeing of these cats.
‘They’ve been taken for a check-up at a vets and then will remain in our care while the investigation continues.
‘We’re grateful to everyone who expressed their concern for these cats. We were dealing with this issue before the video went viral online and are leading the investigation.
We continue to investigate so we cannot comment further at this time.’
Petitions calling for legal action to be taken against Zouma have now been signed by hundreds of thousands of people.
Zouma apologised for his behaviour after the reports emerged, insisting the cat is a ‘cherished’ pet.
Yesterday, the Met confirmed it is not investigating the incident as a criminal offence but the RSPCA can pursue charges under their private prosecution powers.
Police forces in Surrey and Essex are also examining the footage to determine whether an offence was committed in their area.