Cat owners' poison alert

TWO Spen families are distraught after their much-loved pet cats were poisoned with anti-freeze within days of each other.

Friday, 2nd July 2010, 11:01 am

Jackie Bell, of Windy Bank, Hightown, said her five-year-old son Rhys was heartbroken at losing his 'best friend', 12-month-old Domino.

After Domino returned home on Friday evening, the family noticed he was struggling to jump up onto the settee and was staggering around 'like he was drunk'.

"We examined him but there were no visible injuries. We thought he might have been hit by a car, so we kept an eye on him," Jackie, 28, said.

She brought him to the PDSA vets in Bradford that night where tests revealed anti-freeze crystals in his blood. Vets tried to flush it out of his system, but he died.

Jackie said: "Rhys is devastated. One minute he is angry and the next he thinks it's his fault that Domino died.

"For a five-year-old to say that, it's worrying. He's lost his best friend and he's heart-broken."

The day before Domino died, another family was going through the same grief.

Angela Rodney, of Moorside, Cleckheaton, returned home from work last Thursday to find her 11-year-old cat, Bruce, was not waiting at the door to greet her as usual.

When he did return, Angela watched him 'stagger' up the path.

She said: "He just crawled underneath the car and I knew something was wrong, so I called the vets in Morley."

Again tests detected anti-freeze in Bruce's blood, but he was so ill he was put to sleep on Friday.

"My daughter, Simone, was on holiday and when I told her that Bruce had died she just started screaming and was hysterical. She grew up with the cat and his death has affected everyone, even our neighbours.

"I have to warn other cat owners to be vigilant. It's been so traumatic.

"Cats are attracted to anti-freeze because it tastes sweet and it doesn't take much to have an effect.

"It feels like a family bereavement. We had Bruce for such a long time that he was a big part of our lives."

Officers from the Spen Valley Neighbourhood Police Team visited both families and have not ruled out foul play in either case, as it is highly unusual for people to use anit-freeze in the summer.

l If you have any information about either incident contact the Spen Valley NPT on 01924 295357 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.