Warning over serial cat killer after '15 drop dead' in town
Reports of cat deaths across the village of Wilberfoss, near York and elsewhere across the region have been coming in for a number of weeks and the possibility of "deliberate killings" is now be considered by local authorities.
RSPCA inspector Beth Boyd and her team issued the public service announcement following the death of two health, young cats in the village on June 27.
Local resident Natasha Hardman's pets cats Narla and Cash were found dead within 24 hours of each other; neither cat was said to appear visibly injured but they were drooling saliva, a sign of poisoning.
Sadly, Hardman lost two other cats in similarly suspicious circumstances and, as such, the RSPCA and local police are now treating the situation as potential targeting of pets in the area.
Inspector Boyd said in a statement that "these incidents appear to have been going on for a long time, but there seems to have been a spike in them at the moment. These are young, healthy cats who are turning up dead in their own gardens - it is horrendous.
The grieving cat owner said, "In the 11 years I have lived here around 15 cats have dropped dead without explanation." She later went on to reveal that she discovered her cats' mother, LuLu, walking in front of her home with a piece of meat covered in a mysterious blue powder which is now suspected to be rat poison.
Boyd went on to explain how "one neighbour says she has lost three cats in the last two years - one was never found and the other two turned up dead in her garden".
Moreover, and perhaps even more disturbingly, another women told investigators that not only did six of her own cats turn up suspiciously dead in the space of "20 years", but she also remembers around a dozen cats dying suspiciously over the course of a two-week period roughly four years ago.
Boyd concluded by stating that while it remains unclear whether someone's routine use of rat poison is unintentionally harming local pets, "it does appear that someone is targeting cats in this area of the village. A large number of healthy cats have turned up dead in their own gardens with no visible injuries."
The RSPCA is urging owners to look out for signs of poisoning including vomiting, uncoordinated movements, seizures and breathing difficulties. You can get in touch with the RSCPA online or over the phone on 0300 123 4999
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