Cat lovers are now uniting with crime-fighters to help crack down on serial pet killers.
Neighborhood Watch has currently joined forces with Cats Protection to hopefully thwart the maniacs which have been preying on cherished family animals.
Besides advising just how to set up “additional monitoring” to prevent attacks, the new crime-busting initiative tells witnesses how to collect some key evidence that could put the animal-hating maniacs behind bars.
Up to three pet slayers are now feared to be operating across the country, poisoning and mutilating defenceless animals and leaving owners devastated.
The most notorious one is the so-called M25 Cat Killer who has killed and mutilated dozens of animals over the past two years and now has $6,500 bounty on his head.
There have also been reports of sadists who have an obvious grudge against cats operating in the West Midlands and Cheshire.
Up to six cats or more have been poisoned in the same street in Macclesfield in recent times and two cats suffered near identical mutilation with their heads and tails cut off over in Cannock, Staffordshire, earlier in the spring.
To help protect pets and give also the authorities a greater chance of catching culprits, the leading feline charity, Cats Protection, and Neighbourhood Watch have published a brand new strategy to target suspicious characters.
“If you believe someone is somehow acting suspiciously towards cats in your area then alert your local Neighbourhood Watch, neighbours and report your concerns to the local community police officer and/or the RSPCA via their cruelty line 0300 1234 999;
You may also want to consider working together with your neighbours to set up additional monitoring in the area and publicise this to help dissuade anyone from antisocial or criminal behavior.”.
To help build up a better and clearer picture of suspects, the groups explain that witnesses should “safely make note” of their description; times when suspicious activity took place; description and number plate of any car and also details of any CCTV cameras which may have captured images.
Cats Protection went on to say that it had decided to get in touch with Neighbourhood Watch so it could send tips to 47,000 members after high-profile incidents involving suspicious cat deaths in Croydon, Cheshire and also the West Midlands.
The charity now hopes that if communities work together they will be more prepared and able to notice any strange behaviour, and dissuade anyone from harming animals in their locality.
Peter Hepburn, who is Cats Protection’s chief executive, stated: “There is a lot of concern out there from cat owners and our advice is that vigilance is key.
“We hope that if we can encourage neighbours by providing some simple advice on what to look out for, and what to do, then we can help to minimise future instances of cruelty towards cats.”
The grisly campaign of the so-called M25 Cat Killer has seen one of the largest investigations of its kind ever being launched by the Metropolitan Police and RSPCA. It has been code-named Operation Takahe.
Investigators have been working closely with South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL), a small welfare group that has done much to collate the attacks and collect the bodies of suspected victims.
In its latest briefing, SNARL says a total of 28 killings have been confirmed by post mortem with a further 70 cases since February “which bear the hallmarks of what is believed (through forensic evidence) to be the same killer”.
Most of these attacks have occurred across a wide area within Greater London but the group has collected animal remains from St Albans, Brighton, Maidstone, Manchester and Birmingham with “identical wounds”.
The group – which actually has a Facebook page – adds: “If you live in Greater London you are currently living in a high-risk area for these killings.
“However, we also now want to know about any cats, foxes or birds found with the following combination of injuries from Manchester down to the South Coast: Decapitations/removal of tail/ removal of paws/ any combination of these.”
Anyone who witnesses odd behavior around animals is advised to immediately call the police on 101 and, if they witness an animal suffering violence, to ring 999 as an emergency.