Ipswich: Missing cat campaign gathers new momentum following multiple reports of a man and woman seen luring pets into a car
- Credit: Archant
A campaign seeking answers to the mass disappearance of cats from Suffolk’s county town has gone into overdrive after publicity in the Ipswich Star sent the story nationwide.
Pet owners in Ipswich reported fears that their beloved pets were being abducted by a deranged killer after 108 were reported missing in just a week.
With the few returned showing signs of cruel torture, panicked owners said they were keeping their pets at home, safe from harm’s way.
Deni Parkes, a part-time nanny, who created the “Ipswich Missing Cats” Facebook group to identify the scale of the problem, said it had gone “absolutely insane” ever since the Star’s story on Thursday.
The group was been joined by more than 500 new members in a day, received a further 20 reports of missing cats and was forced to create two new groups for Kesgrave and Felixstowe, in addition to the one for Stowmarket already added.
Mrs Parkes has also arranged to meet with police on Monday, in a sign she says indicates the force now is taking the matter seriously.
Multiple reports on the group’s page about a couple seen around the Ipswich area luring cats into a car has prompted new lines of inquiry.
Mrs Parkes says the group now believes the cats are being taken to be used as “bait” in dog fights, rather than falling prey to a lone killer, as suggested earlier in the week.
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“The last few days have been absolutely hectic,” she said. “But it’s been a welcome hectic as we’ve raised the profile of the group and hopefully we will raise awareness across the country because I don’t think Ipswich is the only place facing this problem.”
Sgt Mark Thomas said: “Police have been made aware of allegedly stolen or mistreated cats in the Ipswich area.
“The matter is being looked into and officers will establish if any criminal offences have taken place - either a theft or cruelty to animals with the assistance of the RSPCA.”
An RSPCA spokesman has expressed the charity’s sympathies to the owners of the missing cats and advised them to register their details with “Pets Located” – an online service to help reunite missing pets – to put up posters and contact local vets.
They also advise microchipping to help if pets go missing in the future.
Report suspected animal cruelty to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.