The owners of a kitten in the England thrown into a wheelie bin by a middle-aged woman have appealed to hundreds of people who have expressed their rage online not to "take matters into their own hands".
The RSPCA launched an investigation after a grey-haired woman was captured on CCTV dumping Lola the rescue kitten into a large green rubbish bin in Coventry.
The cat, which was trapped for 15 hours, emerged unscathed but footage of the incident, posted on social networking site Facebook, provoked angry reactions.
Hundreds of people have joined groups on the site, including one entitled "catch the evil b**** who put the cat in the bin", and many have posted threatening messages about the woman depicted in the CCTV.
The RSPCA said the woman had been identified and was due to be interviewed on Tuesday.
The charity said police were supporting the investigation and urged the public to "leave the matter to be dealt with correctly by the authorities".
Police also urged local residents to show restraint.
A small number of community support officers - wardens who assist the police but have no powers of arrest - had been stationed near the woman's home after a crowd gathered outside.
Lola's owner Stephanie Mann, 24, said: "I can't believe the reaction to the story. I only posted it on Facebook because I wanted to see who she was.
"Now that the police know who she is, I think people should leave it to them and the RSPCA and not take matters into their own hands.
"Whatever she has done, I don't like her, but I don't want her to get hurt. It needs to be dealt with properly, not by people getting aggressive with her."The RSPCA said it planned to interview the woman involved after it confirmed her identity, but declined to say whether she had been identified by a viewer of the clip online.