AN OWNER of the family pet which was mauled to death by hunting dogs has said he had been “amazed” by the reaction to the incident.
Since the tragic story of elderly tabby Moppet’s death appeared on the front page of the Evening News on Tuesday, it has featured in several national newspapers and Les Atkinson appeared live on BBC Radio Five yesterday.
The cat, aged 18, was relaxing outside her home in Stoupe Brow, Ravenscar, when a 27-strong hunting pack bounded on to the land and attacked the defenceless animal earlier this month.
A huntsman then picked up the cat’s lifeless body and rode off, before it was returned to her owners two days later in an empty bag of dog food.
Speaking to the Evening News yesterday, Mr Atkinson said that he hoped the interest in the story, which has now reached an audience of millions, would spread awareness and ensure other pets do not suffer a similar fate to Moppet.
He said: “The phone has never stopped and people have been very sympathetic. It has all been very positive. We haven’t the slightest interest in making any money or getting any compensation. We just don’t want this to happen to other people.
“When those dogs are on their own they’re daft, but in a pack they’re a killing machine. I think hunting with dogs should be banned.”
The hunting party which entered the Atkinsons’ land on a bridle path was a joint expedition between the Staintondale and Goathland hunts.
Mr Atkinson said that although a representative of the Staintondale hunt had apologised, he had not heard anything from the Goathland hunt.
The League Against Cruel Sports has condemned the hunting parties for causing Moppet’s death.
The national charity’s chief executive, Joe Duckworth, told the Evening News: “This is yet another example of the total lack of regard hunters have for members of the public.
“Sadly these incidents happen all too often with hunters riding rough shod over the feelings of individuals who get in the way of their blood sport.”
The police issued incorrect information on Monday, stating their investigation into the cat’s death was over. It has now confirmed that the incident is being investigated, alongside the RSPCA.