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Wednesday, Apr 3, 2013
Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!
Pet owners in Greater Leys fear their cats are being poisoned.
Seven have died in the past two years â€" three of them this year â€" all with the same symptoms.
Tracy Smith, of Deer Walk, found 12-year-old ginger tom Garfield in a confused state near her house in May. He went limp, meowing continuously, vomited and within hours had died. Two more of her cats, Smudge and Snowy, have died in similar ways since January last year.
Miss Smith, 48, said: "We managed to get Smudge to the vets, but they couldn't pinpoint what was wrong.
"One minute he was happy and the next he was sprawled out on the floor.
"Snowy and Gar-field had exactly the same symptoms â€" they go limp, then they start crying and vomiting, then they die."
Lizzy Bough, 25, of Jack Argent Close, lost her six-year-old cat Slick in April the same way. She took him to the vets and was told he might have eaten paracetamol or antifreeze.
Zoe Farrell, 26, of Norman Smith Road, lost her cats Fizz and Duchess in the same way, both in the last two years.
She said: "We found Duchess feeding her litter in a puddle of her own sick.
"I picked her up and she started having a fit â€" we couldn't get her to the vets in time to save her. The vet said it sounded like she had been poisoned."
Thames Valley Police spokesman Craig Evry said police were called by Ms Smith when Garfield died, but did not record a criminal offence. In cases of animal cruelty, the RSPCA can choose whether to prosecute.
RSPCA spokesman Andy Robbins said: "The owner (Miss Smith) thinks her cat was poisoned and the inspector said the cat certainly doesn't appear to have been killed by a dog attack.
"The only way to find out for sure would be to do a post-mortem. However, we won't pay for this while there is nobody identified as a possible suspect."
To diagnose a cause of death Miss Smith would have to pay the RSPCA or a vet, which she can't afford.
She said: "They won't investigate it, just because they're animals and we don't have the cash upfront. If this was a human being and we didn't have the money would we just let them die?"
Miss Bough added: "They're more than just animals, they're our friends."
It is a criminal offence to administer poison to an animal without lawful authority or reasonable excuse,.
Anyone caught doing so could face prosecution by the RSPCA.
- Oxford Times - June 6, 2013
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