A rescue service is urging pet owners to nurture their animals after a cat found with severe injuries in Rainham has died.

Founded in 2016, Pippa’s Army Lost and Found - named after the first dog it rescued - is a volunteer-run group that works across Havering and Thurrock to rescue and rehome pets.

On Sunday, July 11, Pippa’s Army volunteer Michelle Gibbons found a cat had collapsed due to its injuries in an alley.

Michelle rushed the cat to YourVets in Rayleigh, where she was informed it had suffered severe injuries to its pelvis and nerve damage.

Described as a “plain moggy tortoiseshell”, the cat was renamed Lissa by Pippa's Army, who wanted to “give her a new start in life”.

Despite managing to raise around £1,400 to pay for Lissa’s vet bills, she had to be put down on Tuesday, July 13 as her injuries were “too severe”.

One of the founders of Pippa’s Army, Linzi Fallows, who is currently looking after two rescued cats named Larry and Grace, said they believe Lissa sustained her injuries after getting her tail trapped in a door.

She said: “After getting trapped she must have managed to walk to the alleyway where we found her collapsed."

Michelle added: “You would have had to have met this girl to know just how sweet-natured she is, through such suffering she purred and rubbed her head gently on my hands, she was so gentle, so loving and so desperate to live.”

Giving advice to those that have pets, Linzi said: “If you have an animal, look after it. Neuter it, make sure it is chipped and treat it like a part of your family.

“Every animal deserves a chance. I have seen so much cruelty and people need to step up and realise that animals are like kids and need to be looked after in the same way."

Linzi said if pet owners cannot look after their animals, it is always best to ask for support or get advice.

Pippa’s Army currently has 15 foster carers, but Linzi said there is a “desperate need” for more.

Anyone interested in fostering or adopting a cat can email pippasarmyrehoming@gmail.com.