Five cats have died on a Blackpool street in one month - and a local animal rescue group suspects poison is to blame.
Five cats on Leven’s Grove died suddenly over a period of two weeks in June.
Wendy Mulela, of Homeward Bound, said: “There is obviously some means of poison in that area that is causing the deaths of cats on that street. It’s very suspect that so many cats on one street would die due to poison in such a short space of time.”
Ashley Barnard, who lives on the street, lost his three-year-old pet to what vets suspected was poisoning.
The black-and-white tomcat, called Stampy Cat by Ashley’s 11-year-old granddaughter Katie after her favourite YouTuber, went missing on Monday, June 17.
Two days later, he was found emaciated and in agony in a neighbour’s garden, and died at The Veterinary Health Centre on Greenways, St Annes.
Ashley, 48, said: “Stampy was very much an alley cat. He would go out in the morning and come back for lunch and tea.
“On the Sunday he was sick. He came in later in the evening and spent the whole night on the stairs, very lethargic. We didn’t think anything of it; we thought he was just being a cat. But on the Monday morning he was ill and not himself.
“We didn’t see him at all on Tuesday. I went on Facebook to see if anyone had seen him and I saw some pictures of him in a neighbour’s house looking really ill. He looked like he had aged 10 years.
“They had found him crying in the alley. They actually thought he was a she, because his stomach was swollen and pulsating.”
Stampy was taken to the vets, but Ashley was told that he had been poisoned, and that there was nothing they could do to save him.
It is believed he may have eaten anti-freeze.
“There was nothing they could have done,” Ashley said. “He said the kindest thing we could do would be to let him go.
“I called my granddaughter and told her we had found Stampy and we had to say goodbye to him. She was devastated and in tears.
“My granddaughter get Stampy’s mum, Tinkerbell, for her birthday when she was five, and she had kittens and Stampy was the one she chose for us to keep.
“She has felt lost and upset for days. Stampy is the first thing that has ever died in her life.”
Ashley said other cats on Leven’s Grove had also died in mysterious circumstances during a two week period last month.
Wendy Mulela said she believed all the pets had been poisoned.
She said: “I have spoken to four people. One of them had two cats that died within days of each other.
“There is something toxic to cats on Leven’s Grove, whether it’s been placed unintentionally or on purpose I don’t know.”
Ashley said: “A pet is part of the home and the family, and for him to die so young - you don’t expect it.
“Had he been hit by a car, at least it would have been an accident, but for him to have suffered as much as he did is terrible.”