Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 11:14 UK

Eight cats 'poisoned' in street

Top row L-R: Kiwi, Chilli and Horace.  Bottom row L-R: Willow, Minty and Waffle.
Eight cats in the street have died from suspected poisoning, including, from top left to bottom right, Kiwi, Chilli, Horace, Willow, Minty and Waffle

Residents have spoken of their upset after eight pet cats from the same street apparently died of poisoning.

Police and the RSPCA were called in by the residents of Underwood Place in Brackla, Bridgend, who fear the animals were given anti-freeze to drink.

Vets who examined some of the pets diagnosed severe kidney failure.

RSPCA officials checked if there were chemicals in the area, but found nothing to explain the deaths. Bridgend council is also investigating.

Residents in eight homes in the street, most close together, have all lost their pets - with two families losing two cats.

After comparing their pets' stories they realised they had all died in similar ways.

Laura Wehko said most of the cats had died in July, but residents had become concerned again after more have cats become ill and passed away during the last week.

I've never come across a cluster like this in my 14 years' experience
Dr Greg Dixon, vet

"All the cats that have died, been put down or have just about survived have had the same symptoms such as not eating, loosing weight and then sadly, kidney failure, all resulting from them being poisoned," said Laura, 26, who has lost cats Chilli and Kiwi.

"One cat had a post mortem carried out and they found poisoning by anti-freeze, which apparently cats will drink because its sweet.

"This made us even more sure of deliberate poisoning, as who has anti-freeze around in summer?

"It's an awful situation. I've personally lost two cats and am devastated, and angry that there is someone out there doing this."

A spokesman for South Wales Police confirmed they were investigating and a community support office has been at the scene.

An RSPCA spokesman said they were working with Bridgend council on the investigation.

"We are aware of these cases and that the cause of death was confirmed as anti-freeze in a where a post mortem was held.

"Anti-freeze is highly dangerous to cats and can cause renal failure from a very small amount.

'Other explanation'

"We always advise people to take great care when disposing of anti-freeze. We have been working with the local council to investigate."

Karen John, 37, lost her cats Willow and Waffle.

She said: "I was worried somebody may be putting out poison for rats and asked people to beware. I was amazed when people told me their own pets had died."

Neighbour Gail Povey, 30, lost her three-year-old cat Horace last month - but he suffered for two weeks before being put down.

"Horace was too young to die from kidney failure at his age. We've all looked around the area for a spillage or some other explanation.

"I have another cat called Minty who is Horace's sister, but I'm too frightened to let her our now."

Vet Dr Greg Dixon has treated four of the fatal cases at his Maes Glas surgery in Bridgend, with other cases treated at another local vet.

He said: "It is extremely upsetting for the families.

"I've never come across a cluster like this in my 14 years' experience."

Councillor David Sage said: "Our teams are making house-to-house inquiries down there."

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