A serial cat killer is believed to be on the loose following the death of five pets.
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones’s long haired ginger tom Jaffa is among those who have died after eating food believed to have be poisoned with anti-freeze.
The deaths, which have all occurred on two Baxenden streets - Warmden Avenue and Coleridge Drive - over a period of 11 months, have left other owners afraid to let their pets out.
Mr Jones urged people to be vigilant.
He said: “Our cat was in absolute agony and had to be put down. Watching your pet put to sleep in front of you is a very emotional experience.
“The number of deaths in the immediate area is very suspicious.
“The cats are being attracted to food or water that has been poisoned with anti freeze.
“It is very difficult to investigate and to prove that someone is doing this so I would urge the public to be vigilant.
“I think animal cruelty is abhorrent and I hope whoever is doing this is caught.”
His partner Kimberley Whitehead, said: “I don’t think people realise how painful a death caused by anti freeze is.
“Jaffa was in terrible pain. I have had him since I was 18, I was absolutely devastated. Everyone knew him in the area.”
She added: “I posted about Jaffa on Facebook and people started getting in touch telling me about their cats.
“It is pretty horrendous to think a human being could be doing this to animals.”
Kirstie Rawlinson, of Coleridge Drive, who lost her cat Mina, was told by a vet she had suffered kidney failure caused by anti freeze.
Kirstie said: “I was shocked. I was always suspicious she was poisoned but couldn’t prove it, after Kimberley’s cat died and then a number of others it is just too much of a coincidence.”
The 43-year-old sales technician added: “I have a kitten now and I am terrified about letting him outside.
“It’s very upsetting to think that someone could be doing this, why would you want to harm an animal?”
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “If you suspect that your cat or dog has been poisoned you must take it to a vet immediately.
“Poisoning a cat is a criminal offence. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the maximum penalty for those found guilty of this offence is up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £20,000.
“If anyone has any information about a suspected poisoning they can contact the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.”