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Warning Issued Over 'Serial Cat Killer' After 15 Found Dead In Same Town

Warning Issued Over 'Serial Cat Killer' After 15 Found Dead In Same Town

The RSPCA has warned pet owners to be on the lookout for a cat killer who is suspected of having murdered 15 felines in the same area.

The RSPCA has warned pet owners to be on the lookout for a cat killer who is suspected of having murdered 15 felines in the same area.

Natasha Hardman's two healthy young cats named Narla and Cash were sadly found dead within 24 hours of each other on 27 June, 2022, in the back garden of her home in Wilberfoss, near York.

Earlier this year, in January, another of the pet owner's cats called Lily also died in mysterious circumstances.

After finding another of her animals in jeopardy of the same fate, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has since launched an investigation and urged cat owners in the area to remain vigilant.

Natasha took to Facebook to alert other local cat owners that 'some sick individual' is allegedly 'putting poison out on Hawthorn Drive/ John Bell Court' and 'cats are literally dropping dead'.

She continued: "Police and RSPCA are now involved. If you have had a cat poisoned in the last year please get in touch so I can give you crime number.

"The more owners that report this the beter the investigation. I have lost two in two days!"

Beth Boyd, an inspector for the RSPCA, has since released a statement on the incidents.

She said: "These incidents appear to have been going on for a long time, but there seems to have been a spike in them at the moment. These are young, healthy cats who are turning up dead in their own gardens - it is horrendous.

"Narla and Cash were both seen on the day they died and they were absolutely fine. There were no signs of any injuries to either, although they both had saliva around their mouths.

"Lulu came home carrying what looked like a piece of meat from a Sunday dinner. It was laced with a bright blue powder, but thankfully her owner managed to get it out of her mouth before she ate any."

Narla and Cash's cause of death was unable to be established because they were buried after they passed away.

The blue powder has not yet been identified, however, it is suspected as being rat poison.

In light of the recent deaths, Natasha believes the cat murderer could have been at large for a number of years after another of her animals named George died in mysterious circumstances four years ago.

The pet owner said around 15 cats have passed away in the 11 years she's lived in the area, with them having 'dropped dead without explanation'.

Other cats have also been found dead by locals.

Boyd explained: "One neighbour says she has lost three cats in the last two years, one was never found and the other two turned up dead in her garden.

Natasha has lost two cats, Cash and Narla, to a suspected poisoning.
Facebook/Natasha Hardman

"Another neighbour told me over the space of 20 years six of her cats had turned up dead and she recalled around 12 cats dying suspiciously in a two-week period about four years ago.

"It does appear that someone is targeting cats in this area of the village. A large number of healthy cats have turned up dead in their own gardens with no visible injuries."

The investigation continues, however the RSPCA noted how it can be hard to figure out whether poisoning is accidental or deliberate.

Although, it is a legal requirement to use poison safely and not risk the lives of pets or wildlife - poisoning an animal a criminal offence under 2006's Animal Welfare Act.

Narla and Cash's cause of death hasn't been able to be established because the pets were buried soon after they passed away.
Facebook/Natasha Hardman

Cat owners in the area have since been urged to look out for any signs of their animals having been poisoned such as difficulty breathing, seizures and vomiting.

Boyd resolved: "We would remind people of the legalities of using poison and urge anyone with information about these incidents to come forward. We would also encourage people to try to keep their cats indoors and keep a close eye on them."

Anyone with information is asked to call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.

If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA's 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice 

Featured Image Credit: Natasha Hardman/Facebook

Topics: Cats, Animals, UK News