Report by Tom Wright , Reporter
Monday, June 4, 2012
A VET has warned people to take extra care following a spate of cat deaths caused by antifreeze poisoning.
Two cats from Yatton are believed to have died from poisoning in the past three weeks and they follow similar deaths in other parts of North Somerset.
A £1,000 reward for information has now been put in place to curb the problem.
Liz Watkins, a vet at Watkins & Tasker, said it was impossible to say whether the incidents were the result of foul play or a coincidence.
She said: “I hope it is just one person who has just disposed of it down a gutter recklessly. The more people who know how dangerous it is, then hopefully we won’t have any more.
“I have spent years of my career without hearing anything like this and then in recent years we have had a number of incidents.”
Currently the deaths in Yatton are only suspected poisonings until blood test results return but she said they followed the same pattern as the previous cases with both suffering kidney failure.
She has now contacted the RSPCA about a possible campaign to try to change the taste of antifreeze, which cats find ‘palatable’.
Animal welfare charity PETA has now issued a £1,000 reward to try to prevent any more deaths.
A PETA spokesman said: “Because the spate of antifreeze poisonings in the North Somerset area may well be deliberate, guardians should accompany their four-legged family members when outdoors and keep a close eye on them. “Anyone capable of deliberately poisoning defenceless animals demonstrates a deeply disturbed psychological state and must be found, or chances are, more animal companions will endure similarly agonising deaths.”
Owners concerned their cat has drunk antifreeze should contact vets immediately. Symptoms can be hard to spot with cats generally lethargic, off-colour and occasionally vomiting.