Missing cats reaches 200

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

OVER 200 cats have been reported as missing across Ireland to Pet Connection, Newry, as fears grow they could have been stolen for dog fighting.

Twenty-eight cats from the Newry area have been reported, with the majority of those disappearing since August.

Emma O'Hare from Pet Connections, explained that the issue was first highlighted after two cats went missing in suspicious circumstances from her colleague's home three months ago.

As part of their investigations Pet Connections asked the public to get in touch through Facebook if their cat had gone missing and within three days there were 20 reports of missing cats in Newry.

That figure has now reached 220, with reports coming from as far as Dingle, County Kerry.

The most worrying factor is that the majority of cats have been neutered and micro-chipped, meaning that it is much less likely that a cat would stray.

"At the beginning we were hoping, even though it looked like there was something suspicious going on, that all these cats would show up but no such luck and it has just got worse so we were thinking somebody has taken them for whatever reason," said Emma.

"We really don't know why but we have to consider that it's for dog fighting or badger baiting, simply because no bodies have shown up.

"It seems to be very limited to certain areas, for example, Fullerton Road [Newry] will get hit and five cats will go missing from that road within two or three days and then whoever this is will move on to a different area."

Pet Connections are asking the public to look at their missing cat map on their Facebook page and are advising pet owners to keep their animals indoors if there is even one report in their area.

They have also advised cat owners to get their pet neutered and micro-chipped, and to make sure their animals always wear a name tag and collar.

"We have contacted the police and made a general report and at this stage they said there's not a lot they can do because we have no proof," continued Emma.

"What we're asking individual owners to do is to make contact with police and report their cat as missing under suspicious circumstances, if they believe that is the case.

"The more reports there are the more attention the police will pay to it."


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