An investigation has been launched after than 150 cats were found abandoned in the Abu Dhabi desert.
Residents made the discovery in the Al Falah area on Friday morning after seeing lots of cats looking for food and water.
Rescuers said that 90 of the cats survived, some having found their way into nearby communities, but at least 62 had died.
Videos shared widely on social media on Friday showed scores of dead animals in Al Falah.
Abu Dhabi's Department of Municipalities and Transport said it “immediately began investigations after receiving the report and will take all relevant administrative and legal measures”.
In a statement it added that “investigations are still under way in co-ordination with the relevant authorities to identify perpetrators of this inhumane act, which contradicts civilised morals and values”.
“The DMT has also underscored that it values the sentiments of the public and activists and recognises the contributions of volunteers in responding to this incident.”
The department appealed for anyone with information to come forward so it could prevent any further such incidents.
A team of seven volunteers in Abu Dhabi are trying to match up the cats' microchip numbers with photographs of missing pets.
Rescuers said the microchip numbers for each dead cats have been recorded.
Volunteers have been combing the Al Falah desert in off-road vehicles, trying to find any other abandoned cats.
They also discovered a number of dead dogs.
At least six veterinary clinics in Abu Dhabi have offered free treatment for the sick animals, while bags of cat litter and food have been bought by animal lovers for the survivors.
“On Friday, people were coming from all over the country to join the rescue to collect cats,” said David Appleby, one of the first volunteer rescuers.
“We have around 30 cats receiving treatment from vets.
“The animals will go through a 14-day isolation period to ensure they are healthy and will then be vaccinated and given passports to make them available for adoption, if no owners come forward.
“There will be a consolidation period of trying to trace the owners of some of these cats.
“It has been incredible to see how the entire community has come together in the effort to save as many cats as possible, give them treatment and hopefully find them new homes.”
The DMT has called on the public to report any abuse or neglect of animals by calling 800 555.