RSPCA Cymru has issued a warning to pet owners following a string of reported cat poisonings within the South Wales East area.
Annie Simmonds, RSPCA inspector, has been responding to incidents in Crumlin, Newbridge, and in Pontllanfraith, near Blackwood.
It was reported to the RSPCA that in mid-December, three cats had died in the Rhymney Street area of Pontllanfraith, Blackwood. They lost their lives on 14 December, 15 December and 21 December respectively, with two of the deaths confirmed by a vet as anti-freeze poisoning.
This followed an incident on William Street, in Crumlin, in November. Yolo, a black and white female domestic cat, was rushed to a veterinary practice, after she started to vomit and displayed a loss of appetite – becoming ill very suddenly. Sadly, the vet had to put her to sleep due to anti-freeze poisoning, leaving her family heartbroken.
It is understood other cats in the Crumlin vicinity have also recently lost their lives, due to poisonings, in recent months.
Yolo’s owner Vicky Harrison said: “We were absolutely devastated by what happened to Yolo. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see the pain and suffering she went through.
“My husband, three daughters and myself were all so saddened and shocked; and it’s so awful that other cats in the local community have been through a similar fate.”
In Newbridge, too, another cat – a female tabby – was found dead in the woodlands, near Ael-Y-Bryn Terrace in November, with symptoms believed to be consistent with poisoning. Puss Puss, when found, had her eyes open, and had visible problems with her mouth, with teeth sticking out. Prior to being found in this way, she had no known injuries or health problems.
Jackie, Puss Puss’ owner, commented: “We are absolutely heartbroken by the loss of Puss Puss. She was a member of our family, and we miss her every day.
“It isn’t clear whether this poisoning was deliberate, or a tragic accident.
“Clearly, however, more needs to be done so motorists who may be using substances poisonous to pets understand the dangers, and make sure they cannot be consumed in this way by animals.
“I just hope people take this advice, so other owners can avoid tragic events, like the recent loss of Puss Puss.”
RSPCA Cymru is urging any members of the public who may have any information related to these incidents to come forward, and report them to the charity. Calls are treated in confidence.
Annie Simmonds, RSPCA inspector, said: “In recent months, I have been looking into a series of deeply worrying cat poisoning incidences across the Gwent area. Our thoughts are with all cat owners impacted, at this distressing time.
“Sadly, in Crumlin, Newbridge, and in Blackwood, I’ve been made aware of fatal cat poisonings, with reports of others within these communities seeing their pets experience a similar, tragic fate.
“Though it isn’t clear whether these cases are connected, or whether they were deliberate in nature, we are urging anyone with any information to come forward and contact us.
“Our inspectorate appeal line can be reached on 0300 123 8018 and calls are treated in confidence.”
The charity is also urging cat owners to know what to do should they expect their cat may have been victim to a poisoning attack, with detailed advice published online as to the steps people can take.
Inspector Simmonds added: “Given these recent incidents, it’s important that local cat owners are careful, and know what to do if they think their pet may have been the victim of a poisoning.
“It is vital owners remain calm, and remove their cat from any suspected source of poison. A vet should be contacted immediately, and informed when, where and how any such incident occurred – with their advice then followed carefully.
“Additionally, it can be beneficial to take any substance believed to be poisonous to a veterinary practice; though it is imperative owners never put themselves at any risk.”
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