The discovery of five dead kittens reportedly found hanged is being investigated by police.
The kittens were said to have been found at Westhill Shopping Centre in Aberdeenshire earlier this week.
One worker at the shopping centre told BBC Scotland she was told the kittens were hanging from a bucket and added: "We were shocked."
It is understood the kittens were reportedly found behind the centre's Chalmers bakery shop.
Grampian Police Insp Andrew Todd said: "Our officers are making enquiries into this and will be liaising with the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"Our enquiries are at an early stage and we're currently trying to establish the full circumstances.
"We'd urge anyone who saw these kittens or has any information which could help our enquiry to contact police immediately."