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4 February 2015, 07:18
Up to ten cats have been poisoned in the same street in Norwich.
The RSPCA is investigating after the pets were found either dead or dying in Goulburn Road in the last three weeks.
They had all been suffering from symptoms consistent with poisoning, such as stomach upset and frothy vomit.
A black and white female called Daisy, and a tabby called Shadow, were both found dead on Tuesday (13 January).
Their owner Leanne Dye said: "My neighbour found one of my cats dead in her greenhouse and she came to let me know. I called for the other one but she didn't show up and we found her body in the shed later that same day.
"Shadow and Daisy were both found with their eyes open and foaming at the mouth surrounded by faeces. It was devastating.
"One of our neighbours found their new kitten in the same state. It was half alive so they took it to the vet and it had to be put to sleep." Leanne added.
"I'd had Daisy for nearly eight years and Shadow was her daughter. It's been so upsetting, my four kids are devastated."
Another black and white elderly male cat called Pilchards, who lived on the same street, was also struck down with the same symptoms. There have also been reports of up to ten other cats in the street suffering from the same conditions.
According to residents, all the cats affected by the poisoning have sadly died, or had to be put to sleep by vets to end their suffering.
One resident discovered her 11-month-old kitten Bruce having seizures and foaming at the mouth on Friday (23 January). Bruce also had to be taken to the vets and put to sleep. Several of the residents have then been left with £200 vet bills to deal with, as well as the tragic loss of their pets.
RSPCA inspector Ben Kirby said: "This was a highly distressing incident and we urge anyone with any information to call us.
"It is difficult to know for sure what happened and how these poor cats were poisoned, but it is extremely concerning that so many animals died in this horrible way in such a short space of time.
"Poisoning causes a lot of pain and distress and is often fatal. It is likely all these cats suffered a lot before they died.
"We do not know for sure what the cause of the poisonings was, but would urge people to be careful when using poisonous substances - to clear up any spills and to store and discard them safely.
"There is also the worrying possibility that someone did this deliberately so if anyone has seen anything suspicious please contact us on 0300 123 8018."
A spokesperson said: "While we do not know if these incidents are deliberate or accidental we do want to remind people that deliberately poisoning an animal could mean a £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison under the Animal Welfare Act."
If you are concerned that your pet may have been poisoned please contact your vet immediately.Signs that your animal could have been poisoned vary and can include any of the following:
People should be careful when putting down any substances which are potentially poisonous to ensure that other animals are not affected (e.g. slug pellets) and that substances are stored appropriately and properly disposed of, rather than dumping them on a roadside or in a park.
For information on how to detect poisoning log onto www.rspca.org.uk/poisoning