Police are investigating claims that a serial cat killer could be on the loose after several cats fell victim to suspected anti-freeze poisoning.
One devastated owner in Rising Bridge says five of her cats have all been poisoned in the last year, while an appeal on a private Facebook group revealed that another five residents on nearby Oak Avenue and Northfield Road have also seen cats poisoned over the same period.
Mum-of-three Rachel Wood, 32, said she has been left devastated and angry following the deaths of Betsy, Percy, Henry, Star and Fifi - the latest three coming on the same day earlier this month.
She said: “I feel just so upset and angry, I feel like I let them down even though I know it’s not my doing. I feel like someone’s targeted us. It’s just so distressing when you have no idea who it is. I feel so victimised. I won’t ever forget this.”
Rachel came home on September 18 to find her cats Henry and rescue-kitten Star swaying and being sick. Knowing the signs of poisoning from her previous pets Betsy and Percy, Rachel rushed them to the vets - but it was already too late.
She said: “Star was too far gone, there was nothing they could do. She was in pain and crying so we had to put her to sleep.
"I asked them to work on Henry because he was a big strong tom cat and I thought he might survive, so they put him on a drip to try and make his kidneys start working.
“I came home to find my other cat Fifi was all over the place, swaying around like she was drunk. I rushed straight back to the vets with her and they told me Henry had gone downhill, his lungs had filled with fluid.
"We euthanised them both at the same time and brought them home together. I couldn’t save any of them. The vets were just shocked.”
In May 2015 we reported that five cats - including MP Graham Jones’s cat Jaffa - had died from suspected anti-freeze poisoning in Baxenden. Police are investigating the latest incidents.
PCSO Chris Hamer said: “These reports are understandably very concerning for pet owners in the area. We advise anyone who believes that their pet has been poisoned to contact us by calling 101.”
Potential signs of poisoning could include vomiting, difficulty breathing, increased thirst, and appearing to be sleepy and uncoordinated.