London, Feb 9 (EFE).- British animal cruelty prevention service RSPCA on Wednesday rescued two cats belonging to West Ham United player Kurt Zouma after a video emerged showing the footballer kicking and hitting them.
The player has also been fined two weeks wages by the London club in the wake of the controversy, which has caused an outpouring of anger in the UK.
The RSPCA will open an investigation in collaboration with the authorities.
Over 150,000 people have signed an online petition asking for the Frenchman to be prosecuted for the alleged animal abuse.
“The two cats are now in RSPCA care,” a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal spokesperson said. “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,” the representative added.
The 27-year-old has been handed a 250,000 pound fine by the Premier League club, which also announced an internal investigation into the incident. The sum is to be allocated to animal charities.
Despite the controversy, the defender started in his team’s 1-0 victory over Watford on Tuesday, drawing boos from both sets of fans. EFE