Pet owners were quick to voice their opinions after the Metropolitan Police announced it was closing the investigation into the ‘Croydon cat killer’, revealing that foxes are likely to be behind the callous attacks.
The force launched an investigation in 2015 into reports of mutilated cats in Croydon and the surrounding areas. Twenty-five post-mortem examinations were carried out, but it says that no evidence was found of human involvement:
“There were no witnesses, no identifiable patterns, and no forensic leads that pointed to human involvement. Witness statements were taken, but no suspect was identified.”
Local charity SNARL, which prefers to refer to the ‘suspect’ as the ‘M25 animal killer’, has worked closely with the police during the investigation. However, it is not satisfied with the outcome, stating: “What has also not been explained is why we have no cases in Scotland or Wales, Devon, East Anglia, Suffolk, Rutland, and so on, given that we have rescue and lost and found contacts there who would notify us if bodies were found.” It added that it would continue with the investigation.
A petition calling for the cat killer case to be re-opened reached 20,000 signatures from members of the public in just four days. Cat lovers across the UK have also been taking to social media to voice their opinions, with many cat lovers in disbelief that a fox could be responsible.
In light of the news, Cats Protection has also issued a renewed plea for owners to keep their cats in at night. Dr Vanessa Howie, CP’s head of clinical services, says: “While we have not been involved in the investigation, our advice remains the same — for owners to keep their cats in at night to protect them. It is impossible to know for sure what caused these tragic cat deaths, but keeping cats in overnight reduces the risks of fighting, infectious disease, and road traffic accidents.”
We asked for your opinions…
“I don’t believe this for one minute. I think it suits the police to draw this conclusion so they can close the case. Evidence seemed to suggest that body parts were far too cleanly removed to have been foxes.”
Valerie Grant, on Facebook.
“Not convinced at all. Unless it was some sick copycat (excuse the pun). Someone not too far away from me had their poor cat’s head decapitated and left on their front doorstep. So, they’re telling me this was scavenged or a fox did that?! I don’t think so.”
Lei Wilson, on Facebook.
“Very dubious of this. A lot of the cases don’t seem to fit with the theory.”
@MikeJ_C, on Twitter.
“My comment on this is that, contrary to popular belief, domestic cats should not be out at night — they become subject to urban foxes, vehicle accidents, and other predators.”
Jacqueline Ellis, on Facebook.
“This is ridiculous — foxes wouldn’t want to hunt for cats. With such a varied diet, they can pretty much scavenge anything, and have hardly any need to hunt. Cats are tough animals, domesticated or not; they naturally fight.”
Sheena Webster, on Facebook.