London

Croydon cat killings: Police probe 'gruesome' deaths

Missy (left) and Amber (right) are two of the cats killed Image copyright Wayne Bryant / Emmerson family
Image caption Missy (left) and Amber (right) are two of the cats killed

Animal welfare workers believe the same person may be responsible for a string of "gruesome" cat killings.

Six cats which went missing in the Croydon and Norwood areas in south London were later found dismembered.

It was initially thought the animals had been killed by foxes.

But animal rescue workers have now urged owners to keep their pets indoors "where possible", saying it had become clear that "something sinister" was going on.

Boudicca Rising of South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) said her organisation had received a "deluge" of further concerns from local residents.

The animals had suffered "gruesome" injuries which appeared to have been made by a blade, she told BBC Radio 5 Live.

She urged anyone who comes across an injured animal in the area to contact her group.

Image copyright Jerome family
Image caption Ukiyo's remains were found in West Norwood

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: "We will be surveying any evidence we are given to see if there is deliberate cruelty involved here."

"Thankfully acts of deliberate violence against dead cats are rare and thorough research has shown that these kind of injuries can be caused by wildlife after death."

She added the police were leading on the investigation but said the RSPCA will provide any support as needed.

The Met confirmed it had received reports of animals being harmed and was working with Surrey Police.

Sgt Ross Spanton, of Surrey Police said: "I would like to reassure the local community that active enquiries are under way to identify those responsible and I would urge anyone with any information to contact the police."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites