A callous criminal dubbed the ‘Cold Cat Killer’ was today thought to be responsible for poisoning at least 33 pets – with ANTI-FREEZE.
Dozens of beloved felines are believed to have died slow, agonising deaths after ingesting the liquid – thought to have been soaked into biscuits and cat nibbles by the killer.
Terrified residents in the hamlet of Stogursey, Somerset, and nearby Bridgwater are ”too frightened” to let their pets out of the house.
Horrified Emma Guy, 30, watched helplessly as her beloved four-year-old cat Marbles died of kidney failure after ingesting the deadly toxic substance.
She began a major investigation after his death on September 30 and was stunned to discover at least 33 other cats had gone ‘missing’ or died in exactly the same way over the last three years.
Emma, a single mother-of-one, said: ”I just can’t understand who would do such a thing and to so many cats. It is absolutely disgusting.
”Marbles was such a lovely cat. He was my cat soul mate and was very unusual.
”I wanted to find out if his death was a personal attack so I started knocking on doors and asking about cats.
”It was a big shock when I found out just how many cats had been poisoned. The police and the RSPCA have been involved but it is very difficult to prove who is doing it.
”One lady whose cat had been poisoned said she had found biscuits laced with anti freeze so the killer must be throwing them over garden wall.”
Former waitress Emma moved to rural Stogursey – population 1,400 – 18 months ago so her three cats could roam the countryside.
But she is now keeping her two remaining cats, ginger tomcat Mr Kitty, two and four-and-a-half-year-old Hicky, safely inside her home.
Tomcat Marble was left paralysed before he eventually died of kidney failure. A post mortem revealed he had died from ethylene glycol poisoning – a chemical found in anti-freeze.
Smudge died in September 2008
Emma is now campaigning for a ‘bitterant’ to be added to anti-freeze to prevent further pet tragedies and plans to uncover the full scale of the ‘Cold Cat Killer’s’ victims.
She said: ”So far I have only found 33 deaths but I am sure there are many more out there.
”Some families have lost more than one cat – I spoke to one household where four cats had been poisoned to death.
”If a bitterant was added to the anti-freeze then the cats wouldn’t ingest it and it wouldn’t kill them.”
Tigger was poisoned in August 2008
RSPCA Inspector Jo Daniel said: ”Until we find the source of the poison, we cannot rule out the possibility that this was a deliberate attempt to harm an animal.
”I would urge anyone who has any relevant information to get in touch with the RSPCA so we can prevent any more cats from suffering.”
* In 2008 up to 18 cats were killed after ingesting anti-freeze just a few miles away from Stogursey in Bridgwater, Somerset.
A spokesman for Avon & Somerset police said the force was aware cats had been poisoned by anti-freeze in the past.
He added that police were not investigating as such animal cruelty cases were dealt with by the RSPCA instead.
Anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal could face a maximum six-month prison sentence and a £20,000 fine under the Animal Welfare Act.