Police are on the prowl for a cat killer who has murdered 18 moggies in a picture postcard village in Poldark country. Cat owners in the little village of Beacon, near Camborne, Cornwall, are living in fear their pet will be next.
The unsuspecting felines lap up sweet-tasting but deadly car anti-freeze left out in saucers in gardens and alleyways – and suffer an agonising death before vets can save them.
The 18 cats have died in a terrifying killing spree stretching back 36 months.
Although the official death tally is 18, villagers fear more may have died without their owners realising they had been poisoned.
The village is set in countryside close to where scenes for the Poldark series are shot on location.
Devon and Cornwall Police today urged owners to beware and appealed for information from the public.
PCSO Andrew Richards said “Vet tests determined all these cats died from ingesting anti-freeze, but we do not know where the source of it is.
“People should be aware that anti-freeze is extremely poisonous to their pets and just a small amount can lead to kidney failure and death.
“At this stage we do not know if this is an accidental incident or deliberate but in the meantime we would ask for everyone in the area to check where they keep their anti-freeze and make sure it is secure and out of the way of cats.
“People should check their cars for any leaks too.
“It is possible that people were simply unaware of the potential hazards to cats when they poured the antifreeze away.
“Similarly we cannot rule out that this was a deliberate act of cruelty and would ask anyone who has information to this effect to contact us immediately.”
In February six cats died in just 24 hours, leading the local vet Ben Gilbert-Polcock to describe the killings as ‘horrendous’.
“We have tried everything to save the cats that have been brought in to us and it has not ended happily. There is a big black cloud” he said at the Monument Vets surgery in Redruth which he runs wife his wife Zoe.
“To say this has been devastating is an understatement – it has been horrendous” he said.
“It has been the worst day ever but obviously for the owners it’s far worse for them.”
Mr Gilbert-Polcock said “Initially they become very weak and unresponsive, and that has progressed to kidney failure leading on to fits, seizures and death.”
Cats love anti-freeze because of its sweet taste but it eats away at their insides and kills nine out of ten pets that drink it.
The mystery killer is placing it in saucers and bowls where they can find it on their night-time prowls.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said “Poisoning an animal deliberately is a criminal offence. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the maximum penalty for those found guilty is up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £20,000.”
Original News Story: The Mirror