Cats in Stenhousemuir 'poisoned with anti-freeze'
Seven cats have suffered "extremely painful deaths" after being poisoned in Stenhousemuir, near Falkirk, an animal charity has said.
The Scottish SPCA believes the animals died after being deliberately poisoned with anti-freeze.
Two cats were found dead in the South View area - one in January and the other in August 2010.
The organisation said it feared a further five cats had been poisoned in nearby areas since March last year.
The Scottish SPCA's Mike Flynn said: "These deaths were reported to us recently because there was a concern locally that the cats may have been poisoned deliberately.
"Following our investigation, we can confirm that two cats in the South View area of the town have died as a result of anti-freeze poisoning, one in August last year and another in January this year.
"We believe that a further five cats in nearby areas may have been poisoned since March last year as they displayed symptoms consistent with poisoning before dying."
The officer said local residents had told the SSPCA that other cats had died in similar circumstances in previous years.
He added: "Given the number of cats involved and the fact that these deaths have occurred over such a long period of time, it is very likely that these poisoning have been deliberate, which is a real cause for concern."
The SSPCA said they were keen to identify whoever was responsible and warned cat owners in the area to be vigilant.
Central Scotland Police confirmed they were investigating the poisonings.
Insp Gail Wintrup said: "Following a report from the Scottish SPCA we are conducting inquiries into allegations of cat poisonings.
"We are aware of one incident involving one cat and we are liaising with a local vet and our inquiries continue."