RSPCA investigating more than 40 cases of ‘deliberate’ cat poisonings

The Hibbert family lost two of their cats to antifreeze poisoning. Pictured, from left, is Ryan, Jacob, Leland, Joshua, Daniel and mum Emma Hibbert.

The Hibbert family lost two of their cats to antifreeze poisoning. Pictured, from left, is Ryan, Jacob, Leland, Joshua, Daniel and mum Emma Hibbert.

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The RSPCA is investigating a large number of ‘deliberate’ cat poisonings which have devastated families living in a small area of Boston.

Staggeringly, more than 40 such cases from the Woad Farm Road area alone have been dealt with by Marshlands Vets over just two-years.

The small cul-de-sac of Wheeler Close in Boston - where 10 pet cats have been poisoned by antifreeze.

The small cul-de-sac of Wheeler Close in Boston - where 10 pet cats have been poisoned by antifreeze.

In nearby Wheeler Close, four homes have been hit - losing 10 cats between them.

The RSPCA says such cases are ‘highly-unlikely to be accidental’ - while Marshlands Vets also believe the poisonings were ‘malicious’.

“I believe there must be a source nearby,” said RSPCA inspector Becky Harper. “At this time of year it is highly unlikely to be accidental and due to the ongoing nature of these local poisonings we can only presume this is a deliberate act. If a perpetrator is found we will not hesitate to take matters further.

“If proven and found guilty of these offences penalties can include up to six months custodial sentence, up to £5000 fine, community service or tag/curfew, a ban on keeping animals, plus court costs.”

The Hibbert family with a picture of their cat Gibbs who had to be put down last week after being poisoned with antifreeze.

The Hibbert family with a picture of their cat Gibbs who had to be put down last week after being poisoned with antifreeze.

Homes in both roads have gardens which back on to Windsor Bank.

The Hibbert family had their young cat Gibbs put to sleep last Monday after it was poisoned. They lost their other cat the same way the previous year.

“We were all devastated,” said mum Emma. “It’s such a horrible way for them to die. We don’t want to go through that heartache again.”

Claire Grey and her family had a shocking six cats poisoned over the last few years.

Woad Farm Road, Boston

Woad Farm Road, Boston

“My children were heartbroken by all this,” she said. “The last one was on my birthday - I’ll never forget that. Someone is doing this on purpose and it needs to stop.” The family say they rehomed their last surviving cat for fear it would happen again.

Resident Hom Demou’s young pet Summer was fatally poisoned last Friday.

“My daughter was on the floor in tears when I told her,” she said. “My Summer suffered so horribly and that’s what hurt me the most. I’ve got two others cats and I’m so worried about them I won’t let them out now which is so unfair to them, but what can I do? I just want to know why somebody would do this and to tell them to stop as they are causing such suffering. Our cats are like family to us.”

Neighbour Karen Gostelow also lost her young cat Tommy to antifreeze and said she believes the poisonings are ‘deliberate’.

The RSPCA is urging people not to put food down outside for cats in this area, and asking others to be vigilant for blue fluids or pet food with a blue tinge. The substance is poisonous to both humans and animals - including dogs.

Miss Harper said: “There is no excuse for leaving this substance laying about. If you don’t like cats in your garden we recommend you use a water pistol or hose pipe to discourage them with tepid tap water.”

Marshlands Vets has blasted the person responsible as ‘despicable’ for causing such horrendous and prolonged suffering.

Vet Michael Kettle said: “Sadly, we have had two more cats with antifreeze poisoning last week both from the Woad Farm area. We have now dealt with 43-44 cases from this area in the last two years. I believe it is malicious and this now needs to be taken very seriously. Please be vigilant. If you suspect your cat has been poisoned, treat as an emergency and call the vet immediately.”

Antifreeze causes a horrible death, with rapid deterioration. In most cases the only option is euthenasia to end the suffering - although treatment may be viable if detected early enough. Symptoms include lethargy, unsteady gait, vomiting/drooling, fitting and weakness. The resulting kidney failure then leads to death.

To report cat poisonings call the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999 and leave a message for Becky Harper.