Mu­ti­lated fam­ily cat’s death blamed on the ‘M25 killer’

Spate of re­cent an­i­mal deaths

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Claire McWethy cm­cwethy@thek­m­ @CMcWethyKM

A fam­ily cat was found mu­ti­lated in a neigh­bour’s gar­den – an act of cru­elty thought to be linked to a no­to­ri­ous an­i­mal killer.

The body of Tilly, a nine-yearold do­mes­tic short­hair, was found with its tail cut off in Whit­more Street, Maid­stone, last Mon­day.

Her owner’s daugh­ter, who asked to re­main anony­mous, said it was clearly a de­lib­er­ate, hu­man act, and not sim­ply the re­sult of a fox at­tack.

The 28-year-old said: “It is dev­as­tat­ing. We can’t be­lieve some­one could do that.

“I can’t come to terms with the fact that some­one got hold of her and in­flicted that pain on her. I just hope she didn’t suf­fer too much.”

Now the fam­ily is hop­ing other pet own­ers will be on their guard, and keep their cats in overnight to avoid any­one else hav­ing to go through the same thing.

Bod­ies of cats with heads, tails and legs miss­ing started be­ing dis­cov­ered in the Lon­don bor­ough of Croy­don in 2014.

Peo­ple be­lieved one per­son was re­spon­si­ble and dubbed him or her the Croy­don Cat Killer.

Hun­dreds of an­i­mals,in­clud­ing foxes and rab­bits, from a wider area have since been found with sim­i­lar fa­tal in­juries, lead­ing to the cul­prit be­ing re-named the M25 An­i­mal Killer or UK Cat Killer.

South Nor­wood An­i­mal Res­cue and Lib­erty (SNARL), which is work­ing with the RSPCA and the po­lice on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, strongly sus­pects Tilly was killed by the same per­son, but can­not give con­fir­ma­tion with­out do­ing a post-mortem. A spokesman said: “Our ad­vice is to bring an­i­mals in­doors, es­pe­cially at night.” There has been a spate of re­ports of un­ex­plained an­i­mal deaths in Kent in the past month.

In the last week of Oc­to­ber, An­i­mals Lost and Found in Kent was alerted to two dead cats in Chatham, and an­other in Rochester – and in each case the an­i­mals had been cut sev­eral times with a sharp blade.

Po­lice linked the death of five rab­bits, found in a car park in Dart­ford on Oc­to­ber 24, to the M25 An­i­mal Killer, while last Mon­day, the same day as Tilly was killed, a dead cat was found propped in a seated po­si­tion out­side a house in Sit­ting­bourne with parts of its body de­lib­er­ately cut off.

It comes al­most ex­actly a year af­ter Rosie, a two-year-old Ben­gal, was found mu­ti­lated in a sim­i­lar way in Sut­ton Road. She was dis­cov­ered just 200m away from her home, with her tail re­moved at the base.

Tilly was found dead with her tail cut off

Rosie was dis­cov­ered dead and mu­ti­lated in Sut­ton Road a year ago

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