In October, residents of Ipswich, Suffolk, were alarmed to discover hundreds of cats missing. Deni Parkes, one of the residents, set up a group on Facebook called Ipswich Missing Cats, after she noticed that there were plenty of people discussing their missing animals on social media.
“Within a week 108 people in the town reported missing cats. We think someone is taking them for baiting in dog fights or worse.”
BBC News reported that the police met with the group to discuss the situation. Some residents said that their cats have been missing for months, while others went missing recently.
Cats wander off sometimes, but Parkes said that their owners know when something is not right. She also said that More than 100 cats don’t just go missing, especially since plenty of them have microchips. No cat bodies have turned up as well.
Parkes and another cat owner, Louise Catchpole, are not satisfied with the police’s response, so they are working with other cat owners in order to find out what’s been happening. Catchpole’s two kittens went missing, but they were found a few days later with their fur burnt and ripped.
Now, there are 211 cats missing in Ipswich, and there are still no explanations. According to the Mirror, up to six cats would go missing in one area of the town in just one day. Catchpole also said that the missing pet cats were not the type to run away when they are petted, which makes them an easier target for the person who is doing this.
“It all seems very, very odd. This many cats don’t go missing. There are no bodies in bins or on the roads. They have just gone.”
The pet owners said that the police have been very sympathetic about the situation. However, they can’t do anything about it unless they catch someone doing the bad deed. Sgt. Mark Thomas of the Ipswich Police released a statement regarding the issue.
“We understand the distress and upset caused when a cat is missing or lost, but officers have had no evidence to suggest that cats are being stolen or ill-treated on a large scale.”
Parkes said that the treatment would be different if hundreds of dogs were missing in town.
“I know if 200 dogs were missing there would be an uproar, because by law they are better protected than cats, and cats are classified as ‘roamers.’
Catchpole is worried that the cats are being used in dog fights, as they can be used as bait and can make a dog angry. Once dogs have killed a cat, they then move on to the real fight. She is also more frightened about what other things the person responsible for the missing cats can do.
“If these people are prepared to wander on to my property, take my cats and torture them what else are they prepared to do?”
[Image via The Mirror]