Cats die from antifreeze poisoning in Louth - but was it a deliberate act?

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At least three cats have died or become critically ill after claims they were poisoned by antifreeze in the Charles Street area of Louth – and there are fears that it could be a deliberate act.

Resident Jenny Dunbar contacted the Leader to say that her neighbour’s cat had died, and that another neighbour’s cat was seriously ill.

Jo Sheldon (left) with neighbour Jenny Dunbar at the Charles Street pond.

Jo Sheldon (left) with neighbour Jenny Dunbar at the Charles Street pond.

Jenny believes the cats could have been poisoned by antifreeze over the weekend of October 8-9, near the Charles Street Recreation Ground.

Twenty-four hours after Jenny came forward, another Charles Street resident – Jo Sheldon – told the Leader that her cat had also died, allegedly after falling victim to antifreeze poisoning over the same weekend.

Jo described the heartbreaking moment she realised something was wrong with her cat, Bean, who had been part of the family for three years.

She said: “It was Sunday morning, and I called outside for Bean. Usually he comes straight in when you call him.

“He didn’t show up so I left it a little while and then I went outside and called out again.

“Out the corner of my eye I noticed him laid on the floor in our greenhouse – rather than in his little bed on one of the shelves in there.

“I brought him inside and knew something was wrong. He couldn’t stand straight and it was like he was drunk.

“I got straight on the phone to our vets, in James Street and asked if I could bring him in straight away.”

Jo says the vets were concerned and put Bean straight onto a ‘drip and a heat’ pad.

Within an hour, Jo says she received a call to say that blood tests had been carried out and the prognosis was ‘not great’, due to the severe impact of the antifreeze on his kidneys.

Jo was told that she would receive a call back in the evening, but by 3pm she received another call to tell her that Bean had taken a turn for the worse and would need to be put down.

Jo said: “I couldn’t bear to see it happen so my partner brought him home and we buried him in the garden. We were just both so upset.

“Bean was such a lovely cat. Why would anybody do that? It’s mindless and there’s absolutely no need for it.

“It is heartbreaking because he was part of the family. You love them as much as you love your own kids.”

Jo said that she believes the poisonings were deliberate due to the high number of incidents, adding that it was not cold enough to warrant the use of antifreeze

Richard Carter, owner of Black Sheep Vets in Louth, told the Leader that a ‘very small amount’ of antifreeze can kill cats if is not treated immediately.

He said: “Cats like the taste of antifreeze, but it causes very rapid poisoning. The kidneys will pack up and the cat will be left in incredible pain. Take your cat to the vets as soon as possible if you think it may have consumed antifreeze.”

Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, difficultly breathing, and appearing to be ‘drunk’ and uncoordinated.

Mr Carter said that we can not be certain whether the poisonings were deliberate or accidental, although he conceded it would be ‘a bit unusual’ for antifreeze to be used at this time of the year.

He added that non-poisonous antifreezes can be bought nowadays, which do not contain ethylene glycol, and urged people to be careful and clear up any antifreeze spillages to avoid 
further suffering to animals.

• Anyone who deliberately poisons cats can face up to six months in prison and a £20,000 fine. Contact Lincolnshire Police on 101 if you have information.