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Antifreeze poisoning revives Suffolk cat killer fears

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 July 2018

Knuckles and Buster died after apparent antifreeze poisoning Picture: DORN BUTLER

Knuckles and Buster died after apparent antifreeze poisoning Picture: DORN BUTLER

Dorn Butler

The death of two family pets has revived fears that a cat killer is operating in a Suffolk town.

Dorn Bentley posted a warning to fellow cat owners in Leiston after Buster and Knuckles died from apparent antifreeze poisoning.

Miss Bentley, 45, said the two cats had been with her family since they were kittens and their death had affected everyone.

“One of the cats died in my daughter’s arms,” she said.

“We’re all devastated – who would do something like that?”

Knuckles was found by a neighbour staggering around their garden while Buster was discovered the following morning in the final stages of poisoning.

Miss Bentley’s post on the Leiston Chit Chat Facebook page revived painful memories for residents in the Heath View area of Leiston, many of whom said similar poisonings had happened there before.

“Oh no, that’s awful,” said one person commenting. “It happened when we lived there.”

“Hopefully they will get caught,” said another. “They can’t keep getting away with it.”

Several people said they were too fearful to keep cats in that part of town in case they were poisoned, while others said they were keeping their pets indoors.

“There’s been a problem with poisoning in this area before,” Miss Bentley said.

“We’re so angry that this person is getting away with it.”

Miss Bentley, who lives in Heath View with three daughters and five other cats, has advised cat owners to be vigilant.

She has also reported the matter to Suffolk Constabulary, which is investigating.

A police spokesman said: “If anyone believes their cat has been poisoned we would encourage them to get in touch by calling police on 101.”

The RSPCA warns that even small amounts of antifreeze can cause kidney failure and death when ingested by cats.

Signs of poisoning include vomiting, a sleepy or depressed demeanour, a drunk-like and uncoordinated state, as well as seizures and difficulty breathing. Signs can begin to show after 30 minutes with kidney failure indicators showing after two or three days.

RSPCA Izzi Hignell said: “If this is feared, owners should remain calm, move the animal away from any suspected poisonous source, and contact a vet immediately.”

People can call the RSPCA’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.

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