Poison fears over 'sinister' cat deaths

RHIANNON HORRELL
Last updated 05:00 22/06/2011

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A series of mysterious cat deaths have stumped Epsom residents who suspect the animals may have been poisoned.

Four cats have been found dead on Ranfurly Rd and police are warning people it is a criminal offence to kill animals with poison.

The first three deaths happened at the end of May, says resident Heather Worley. 

"That Friday we had a number of people over," she said."We have three cats but one didn't come in during the course of the evening as it usually does. He didn't turn up for breakfast either."

She says the next day a dog found her cat's body in the driveway.

"Then I went for a walk with the dog later in the morning and I saw a neighbour's cat stretched out by their driveway."

Worley says her daughter and a friend spotted the third cat lying on the other side of the street.

On June 11, Worley also saw a dead cat near the corner of Ranfurly Rd and Gillies Ave.

"We have no idea what's causing it but it's a bit of a coincidence. Three on one evening did seem strange.

"Maybe some silly person has put out rat poison and they shouldn't. It's killing all the cats."

She says a person in the area may not realise the effect of their actions.

Epsom community constable Gordon Campbell says the dead cats did not appear to have any injuries so were probably poisoned.

"Poisoning cats or any animals is a criminal offence. If one cat was discovered dead there could be a reasonable reason for it but several dead in the one street certainly makes the deaths appear sinister at the least.

"If anyone has a problem with cats getting into their gardens and being a nuisance contact the owners and talk to them.

"Do not take the matter into your own hands by carrying out a criminal act."

The SPCA has been informed of the deaths.

Campbell urges residents to call him on 09 630 2291 or 09 524 4195 if they have had a cat die suspiciously or a cat that appears to have been poisoned.

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- Central Leader

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