A Scarborough man is warning residents that a pet killer could be on the loose after his cat swallowed anti-freeze and had to be put down.
Paul Dobson, 40, of Newlands Park Drive, said he was devastated that four-year-old Rosie could have been poisoned.
The black cat was rushed to the vets last Wednesday when Mr Dobson noticed she could barely stand, but the family pet lost her battle with the toxic substance on Friday.
He said: “She picked up a little bit on Thursday so we were hoping she would pull through but the poison just kept attacking her and it basically shut her body down. The vet confirmed it was anti-freeze.
“I had to make the difficult decision to have her put down on Friday morning.
“I don’t know if it has been done maliciously but it seems strange because it’s anti-freeze. How many people leave anti-freeze out so cats can get at it?
“I want to warn people in the area because there are a lot of other cats around here.”
Mr Dobson said his five children, who are aged six to 16, had been left heartbroken and their other cat, Rosie’s brother, had been pacing around the house.
He said: “Rosie was an extremely loving cat. She was definitely part of the family. She was always in during the day and if she had been out at night she would always be waiting by the door the next morning.
“It’s heart-breaking for the children. She would often sit on my son’s lap.
“I can’t understand why anyone would do it. If a cat messes in your garden all you have to do is shoo them away. It’s murder really at the end of the day if you are going to leave a tub of anti-freeze out or put it in food and give it to a cat.”
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 the maximum penalty for anyone found guilty of poisoning a cat is up to six months imprisonment and a fine of £20,000.
Police have now launched an investigation into the incident and are appealing for information.
PCSO Chris Hunter, of Scarborough Police, said: “If you have any information about this incident, I ask that you contact the police straight away.
“I am also asking you to get in touch if you know of any other animals which may have suffered in similar incidents.”
Contact police with information on 101, select option 2 and ask for Chris Hunter. Alternatively information can be emailed to email@example.com. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting the reference number 12130062056.