Ipswich/Stowmarket: Fresh warning for cat owners as number of missing pets grows
- Credit: Archant
A further 52 cats have gone missing in the Ipswich and Stowmarket area in the last week – bringing the total to 160, we can reveal
The spate of disappearances have been reported to the Missing Cats Ipswich Facebook group and has sparked fresh warnings for cat owners to be aware.
Police officers met today with Deni Parkes, creator of the facebook page, which now has more than 1,400 members, and listened to concerns of cat owners whose pets have gone missing. But officers say they are unable to investigate unless the cats have been stolen or mistreated.
Natalie Doughty, from Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We met yesterday with the creator of the Facebook page, Deni Parkes, but police can only investigate if there has been a criminal offence that has taken place, if a cat has been stolen or mistreated.
“We are still encouraging any cat owners to report to the RSPCA or us if their cat comes back injured so we can assess the situation.”
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Mrs Parkes, said: “We put forward our concerns and they were very supportive. We handed over evidence that we hope will shed some light.
“Unfortunately, because most of the abuse is not seen, it cannot be recorded as a crime, the same with missing cats, we cannot prove they are missing and name anyone.”
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Several cats had been found tortured last week and the IP3 area of Ipswich has been labelled as the area with the most missing – around Ravenswood, Ransomes, Holywells and Landseer.
Multiple reports of a couple seen luring cats into a car have prompted new lines of inquiry.
David Smith, branch co-ordinator of Cats Protection Ipswich, said: “All we can do is give people advice with what to do with stray cats – keep the cats in out of darkness, make sure it’s been neutered, and make sure they are microchipped.”
The latest actions of the facebook group include organising a chipping event so cat owners can have their pets ID chipped.
A reward is also being offered by Cats Protection Ipswich for anyone with information that leads to the successful prosecution of the perpetrator, with a £500 donation from a man in Scotland added today to bring the total reward to more than £1,000.
Mrs Parkes has also encouraged people to report any cats they see being taken. She said: “We are urging the public if they see anything at that time to call the police then, rather than waiting until they get home.”
She added that any missing cats posted on the Facebook page can help in a map that is being created this week, with the intention of setting up patrols in the most affected areas.