The Ottawa Humane Society is looking for both the owner of a cat found dead in a dumpster last week as well as the person responsible for what they describe as the "horrific abuse" of the animal.

The cat, a five-year-old Calico spayed female, was found January 20 behind an apartment building at 1411 Morisset Avenue, its body in a dumpster and its back legs were tied together with an electrical cord.

The animal welfare group said the cat died of severe trauma, including extensive internal bleeding, and a lacerated spleen and kidney.

They believe the cat was discarded sometime between January 17, when the dumpster was last emptied, and January 20, when the cat was discovered.

"We’ve checked the OHS lost records and there are no reports of a lost cat matching its description, so we’re looking for any information that will lead us to the owner of the deceased cat as well as whoever is responsible for this horrific abuse," said Miriam Smith, a rescue inspector with the humane society.

The OHS said wilfully killing or maiming a pet or causing pain or suffering to any animal is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment of up to five years.