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31 March 2011, 16:51 | Updated: 31 March 2011, 17:34
The RSPCA has appealed for information after four cats in the same street in Wellingborough died from suspected antifreeze poisoning.
Marshell Newcomb of Windsor Road, Wellingborough, found one of her cats, two-year-old brown and white Smudgie, near her home last Thursday struggling to walk and being sick. Her other cat, black and white kitten Marley, was also showing signs of distress and illness.
They were rushed to the vet who confirmed they both had organ failure of the liver and kidneys and had to be put down to prevent any further suffering.
The RSPCA said it had also been notified about the death of two other cats in the same street following suspected antifreeze poisoning.
Mrs Newcomb said: "It's just been horrible. I love my cats so much, they have their own little personalities and my children and I were really attached to them. It's awful that they have just been taken away from us.''
The animal welfare charity has appealed for any information regarding the incidents and RSPCA inspector Polly Underwood said it was not clear if the animals had been deliberately poisoned.
She said: "Antifreeze is almost always fatal when ingested by cats. It could be that someone has just been careless when disposing of the substance or antifreeze could have been laid deliberately, so we need to hear from anyone who knows anything about this.''
Under the Animal Welfare Act, those found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering face a #20,000 fine and/or six months in prison. The charity appealed to the public to take extra care when using antifreeze.
The chemical ethylene glycol, found in some household brands of antifreeze, has potentially lethal consequences when ingested by cats. Cats seem to enjoy the taste of the ingredient but they can soon suffer agonising deaths if they eat or drink it.
Anyone with information about the incidents in Wellingborough should contact the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 1234 999.