Owner of cat that was mutilated warns pet lovers to be alert

Cleo was just a year old

The owner of a cat who it is feared was deliberately beheaded has spoken out to warn people that she fears a killer could be preying on animals locally.

Cleo, who was just a year old, failed to return to her Longwell Green home over the last bank holiday weekend. She was found in the garden of a Cadbury Heath home, minus both head and tail.

The mutilation is similar to hundreds of instances in the South East and the owner has been in touch with a team of investigators from an animal charity there.

A headless fox cub was also reportedly discovered recently in a hedge in Tower Road South in Warmley.

The shocked young man who found Cleo shared on social media that he had made the grisly discovery, and the post was seen by a friend of the owner, who was then able to identify her pet from a photo the man had taken of the body. It disappeared shortly afterwards from his garden – possibly taken by a fox.

The distraught owner contacted her vets – Highcroft in Longwell Green – who notified the police on her behalf. This week the police said there was no evidence at this time to suggest a criminal offence has been committed.

Although the owner has asked not to be named in this article, saying “we don’t know what this person is capable of,” she is keen for people to know what happened to Cleo and to keep a close eye on their pets.

She wonders whether it could be linked to the suspected ‘Croydon cat killer’ or another sick individual involved in sadistic crimes, or even an act carried out as some type of gang initiation. She has been in touch with SNARL (South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty) in south London, which continues to investigate cases in and around London and further afield, even though an investigation by the Metropolitan Police concluded last September that there was no evidence that someone has been killing and mutilating cats, rabbits and other animals, and that the attacks have most likely been carried out by foxes. Hertfordshire Police closed their own cat killer investigation at the same time.

An Avon & Somerset police spokesperson confirmed this week that they had received a report of the body of a cat being found in Cadbury Heath, adding: “There’s no evidence at this time to suggest a criminal offence has been committed.”

The police reference number for anyone with information about Cleo’s death is 5219120735. Call the 101 police number.