At least five cats ‘poisoned by antifreeze’ in Arlesey within two months
- Credit: Archant
Families in Arlesey have been left traumatised by the sudden deaths of at least five cats from suspected antifreeze poisoning in two months.
It is not yet clear if the poisonings, thought to involve ethylene glycol antifreeze, are deliberate or accidental.
Dad-of-three Mark Dean, 54, told the Comet today that his family’s cats Shadow and Domino had both died from poisoning, in incidents about a month apart – and that he understood seven cats and two dogs had succumbed in total.
He said: “We’ve got seven people traumatised in our family.
“The first time, with Shadow, we weren’t aware of how it happened – the second cat, Domino, we took straight away to the vet, but it was too late. By the time they show symptoms they’re basically already dead.
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“We don’t know if this is deliberate or what. We’re a bit at a loss.
“The big issue is that this is ethylene glycol antifreeze, which is not as readily available as people might think. Ethylene glycol is the chemical that kills animals like cats and dogs.
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“Originally we thought the animals may just be dying because of the cold spell – but now it’s warmer out, and puddles of this stuff would dry up.
“This chemical is apparently used in a lot of fridges, particularly older ones, so a possibility is the cats are finding an old fridge in a shed somewhere.”
Mark said at least five animals had died within a 20-square-metre radius of a point in Lymans Road.
He added: “We’re just trying to raise a bit of awareness of this, to hopefully prevent further incidents or help catch the culprit if this is deliberate.”
An RSPCA spokeswoman said they had received reports of five cats dying from suspected antifreeze poisoning in Arlesey since February.
She said: “This is very concerning and we ask cat owners in the area to keep an eye on their cats’ wellbeing.
“At this stage we do not know if this was an accidental incident or deliberate, but in the meantime we would ask for everyone in the area to check where they keep their pesticides and chemicals, including antifreeze, and make sure it is secure and out of the way of cats.
“People should check their car radiators for leaks too.”
A police spokeswoman said: “We received two reports of cat poisonings alleged to have taken place in January and March. We are aware of concerns from the community and would urge cat owners to remain vigilant to any suspicious activity.
“If you see anything which causes concern, contact police or, in the case of public spaces, your local council.”
Police can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101 – if you witness a crime in progress, call 999.
You can also contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or crimestoppers-uk.org.
Poisoning a cat deliberately is a criminal offence, the maximum penalty for which is six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £20,000.