The RSCPA has issued a warning to pet owners amid fears of targeted attacks after two cats were found dead in Hull.
Owner Sophie Ahmed was left devastated after her two pets, Chase and Milo, were found dead in separate incidents earlier this year.
Chase, a black and white cat, was just three years old when he was found dead on 25 February, while Sophie's second cat, Milo, was discovered in a nearby alleyway on 13 April.
A vet determined after Chase's death that he had eaten cat biscuits laced with rat poison. Milo's cause of death has not yet been determined, though it is thought he was also a victim of poisoning.
Sophie spotted some cat biscuits discarded in the area in the wake of her pets' death, and believed the scene to be suspicious as the biscuits were matted together with an unknown substance, Hull Live reports.
The owner also noted that another cat had been found dead in an alleyway just last week, while a fourth has been reported missing locally.
Sophie noted all of the incidents have so far taken place around Hampshire Street, Hereford Street and Huntingdon Street, and after being contacted by Sophie RSPCA inspector Claire Mitchell put out both an appeal and a warning to those in the area.
“We need to make owners aware that in this area of Hull we believe cats are being targeted. Residents need to be on the lookout if they see anyone putting down food stuffs or they see anything suspicious," she commented.
Mitchell continued: "The cat that died in February was taken to the vets who confirmed he was poisoned. That hasn’t been confirmed in the second case, but Milo was found in the same area and the owner also found some food with something in it.
"It suggests someone is trying to tempt the cats to ingest this substance. It’s a dangerous thing to do when you consider children may be running around here too."
Sophie said it was 'heartbreaking' to lose Chase and to learn he had been poisoned, adding: "To find the food in the alleyway seems to suggest someone is deliberating killing cats in this area. Why would someone want to do that?
"Chase went out in the early hours of the morning and by 10am I was told he’d been found dead. Milo escaped from the house late at night and he was found the next morning," Sophie continued.
The owner and mother said both of her cats were house cats and expressed sadness over the fact her family had lost their beloved pets.
"My baby daughter is one year old and she has grown up with Milo. He used to sleep in her bed and play with her, so this has all been very upsetting," she said.
The RSCPA said it is difficult to determine if cases of poisoning are accidental or deliberate, but noted that a deliberate poisoning is a criminal offence. The charity urges anyone who suspects their pet has been poisoned to visit a vet immediately and to take a sample of what the animal has eaten if possible.
Anyone with information on the poisoning incidents in Hull is being asked to ring the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.
Featured Image Credit: RSPCA