Over the past month numerous cats have died from anti-freeze poisoning in the United Kingdom. Pet owners from different areas of the U.K. are devastated to learn their cats have been poisoned.
All appear to be related to anti-freeze poisoning.
According to the Daily Mail, a "serial cat killer" appears to be targeting pets in Bedford. This week 10 cats were poisoned, but residents say a local veterinarian said the total is at least 25 potential anti-freeze related cat poisonings in the town. Six cats on one street have died and it appears as if two more will not survive.
People are afraid to let their cats out. Toxicology reports have confirmed anti-freeze was present in the cats who died. Sue Bower and Paul Maxam learned from the vet their cat, Barney, died from being poisoned.
"We are absolutely devastated," said Sue Bower. "He died last night. It was very sad as he was so young.
My partner Paul rescued him about three years ago and he was only five years old, he was too young to die."
"He went out last Sunday and when he came back he looked a bit off colour and he wouldn’t eat his food which is not like him. We nursed him, then a neighbour came round and said her cat was dead and we soon discovered five others in our small road had died too."
On Feb. 25, This is Plymouth, reported one family in that town lost four cats to suspected anti-freeze poisoning.
Louise Pendall said, "I'm in shock – I now have no cats left. At least they can't harm anything else I suppose, they've taken everything already. My children are so upset, my youngest doesn't understand and keeps asking where the cats are. It's heartbreaking." Pendall noted another neighbor also lost a cat.
In Lincoln, police believe someone is leaving out containers filled with anti-freeze for cats to drink. Authorities there are warning cat owners.
In South Darenth, another owner is distraught as she lost two cats recently. On Feb. 29, News Shopper reported Bernice Giggins, 31, had to put her two cats down after they were poisoned by anti-freeze. She'd rushed them to the vet, but the pet doctor could not save her cats. Giggins believes the poisoning was deliberate.
Unfortunately, anti-freeze poisoning of animals is not uncommon. Cats and dogs are both are attracted to the sweet smell of the toxic liquid and the taste is not repelling. However, within hours after ingesting anti-freeze, animals can become deathly ill. If caught early, a vet may be able to save the pet. Symptoms are many and may include vomiting, seizures, increased urination, a drunk-like behavior, sleepiness and an increased breathing rate.
Digital Journal had reported in 2010 of an incidence where 33 cats were poisoned in one U.K. town. Across the Atlantic in the U.S., a month earlier, seven German Shepherds were euthanized after having been poisoned by anti-freeze.
In the town of Bedford no one knows for sure if the cats' deaths are deliberate or not, although people are suspicious due to the more than two dozen incidences.
"We know there have been a cluster of cases in the area as vets share this sort of information," veterinarian Sheldon Middleton told the Daily Mail.
Police in Bedford are hesitant to declare the deaths intentional due to a lack of evidence that shows deliberate targeting.