Friday, 27 April 2012

Residents terrified after 14 cats found dead in Taunton community

A COMMUNITY has been left reeling after more than a dozen cats were found dead following a string of suspected poisoning attacks.
Around 14 cats have died in the space of one month and more are still missing in the Priorswood area of Taunton, residents have said.
Two cats were found together outside the new Tesco Express store in Priorswood Road, and more in Lyngford Place and Lyngford Square have died suddenly of suspected anti-freeze poisoning.
Police believe the killings could be “copycat” attacks after dozens of pets were poisoned in the Bridgwater area over the past four years.
Terrified residents and cat owners have since posted leaflets to over 100 homes in the area and have locked their pets indoors.
Tina Parminter’s five-year-old cat, Fred, died last week, and Tina, who lives in Lyngford Place, told the County Gazette: “I was heartbroken when I found out Fred had died and this was happening.
“I don’t know why anyone would do it, but it needs to be stopped.”
Lucy Watts found her cat, Alfie, dead next to her home in Massingham Park.
A devastated Lucy said: “I found him after a couple of weeks and knew he hadn’t been hit by a car. He has tried to make his way home in the past.
“He looked like he’d been poisoned, and then a few other people I’d spoken to had problems with their cats, too.
“I was shocked when I heard of all these deaths.”
Determined resident Melisa Casey, of Lyngford Square, has campaigned to get to the bottom of the mystery.
She printed dozens of posters, and put them in the shop window and on lampposts in the area.
Melisa said: “It’s very worrying for the whole area. My mum called me and told me about what was going on, and since then I’ve been printing leaflets and making people aware of the issue.
“I put leaflets up around the area, but I noticed some have been ripped down. We need to stop this.”
Sarah-Jane Edmonds, a nearby cat lover who volunteers for the RSPCA, said the attacks have been “severely concerning” for the community.
An RSPCA spokesman said its inspectors were investigating the deaths, and a spokesman for Avon and Somer-set Police said the force had been made aware that cats had been poisoned.
Anyone with information about the cat deaths is urged to contact Sgt Andy Murphy or PC Jon O’Connor by calling the non-emergency number, 101.

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