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cat-astrophe Cat rescuer believes mystery poisoner is killing Co Wexford town's cats one by one

Is sick mystery poisoner killing off the much-loved moggies?

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Gardai are currently investigating the sudden deaths of cats and kittens in the area

Gardai are currently investigating the sudden deaths of cats and kittens in the area

Gardai are currently investigating the sudden deaths of cats and kittens in the area

A cat rescuer believes a mystery poisoner being blamed for the deaths of over 20 cats in a small part of Enniscorthy over two weeks is unlikely to ever be brought to justice.

Locals in the Templeshannon area of the Wexford town contacted gardaí after cats started dropping dead in the area one after another.

Vicky Reid of 10 Lives Cat Rescue said a postmortem detected a poison believed to be rat poison.

The deaths occurred over a two-week period in late July and early this month and the cats who died were a mixture of pets and "community cats" who locals in the area fed.

"It seems to have stopped but we don't know whether they've run out of cats to poison or if they've been scared off doing it," Vicky told the Sunday World.

"The gardaí were involved but weren't wildly optimistic about getting a prosecution."

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Vicky Reid said both pets and 'community cats' fed by locals had died

Vicky Reid said both pets and 'community cats' fed by locals had died

Vicky Reid said both pets and 'community cats' fed by locals had died

She said while some people in the area had their suspicions who was behind it, they had no proof.

Over 20 cats died in the area during the two-week period and the charity has since rehomed other cats to prevent them being poisoned.

"There were two left and we rehomed some, but the vast majority died, or the mother cat died so the kittens died."

She said the area where it happened had a lot of community cats who locals fed.

"There was someone who lived a distance away who had around 100 cats in his house. After he died the ISPCA came in took most of the cats but some managed to get down to Templeshannon and breed and that's why there so many."

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One of the cats who died

One of the cats who died

One of the cats who died

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She said it is believed birds may have died from poisoning during the two-week period. "There were birds who died without any apparent reason. We strongly suspect that they ingested whatever the cats ingested."

The first sign something was amiss was when a mother cat died followed closely by her kittens.

"We thought maybe it was a one-off or an accidental poisoning but then the volume of them and the suddenness of them would maybe lead one to conclude it was deliberate." She said cats and kittens started dying or became very sick.

"In some cases, people went outside and found the cat dead on their doorstep or in their back gardens, a few of the kittens came in and were sick. In some case they died in people's living rooms or on the way to the vet. The poor people in the community who were feeding the cats kind of saw them as their cats and were absolutely devastated.

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Another of the cats and tiny kittens allegedly poisoned

Another of the cats and tiny kittens allegedly poisoned

Another of the cats and tiny kittens allegedly poisoned

"People got attached to them and had names for them." She said the cats suffered terrible deaths and would have been in pain before dying.

"It's either someone being wildly reckless with rat poison they shouldn't have, or it is somebody doing it deliberately."

"It's a lovely close-knit community. Some people have their suspicions but obviously can't prove anything. I'd say whoever it was is probably keeping a low profile."

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