Hartlepool family left devastated as cat died after being poisoned

Leanne Harris and 13-month-old son Joshua have been left devastated by the death of their cat, Toby.
Leanne Harris and 13-month-old son Joshua have been left devastated by the death of their cat, Toby.
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A family has been left devastated after their cat was poisoned in the second attack of its kind in the same street.

Leanne Harris, of Farndale Road, Hartlepool, has had to have her young cat put to sleep after it was poisoned.

Leanne Harris has been left devastated by the death of her cat, Toby.

Leanne Harris has been left devastated by the death of her cat, Toby.

It comes after Amanda Brown and her young family, also of Farndale Road, lost a fourth pet in three years as a result of poisoning.

Leanne said the loss of two-year-old Toby has devastated her family, including partner Christopher Reay, 27, and son Joshua, aged 13 months.

She said: “We heard Toby screeching in pain at the back door on the morning, and when we brought him in, we thought he had fallen off a roof or something, because he was in such a contorted state.

“When we got him to a vets later that morning, they said he was too far gone, and that it was definitely poisoning.

We lost our pet and probably about £400 overall, because of someone’s stupidity and evilness

Leanne Harris

“It’s absolutely devastating. Our little boy is one, and he was his best friend.

“Toby was a major part of our lives. He was part of our family.

“Because it has happened to our neighbours as well on a number of occasions, I think somebody is purposely doing it.

“You look at everyone now and think, ‘Is it you?’ It’s quite distressing to live somewhere knowing that someone is deliberately killing your pets.”

Leanne Harris's cat Toby.

Leanne Harris's cat Toby.

The loss of Toby has hit the family financially, as well as emotionally.

Leanne added: “My little boy was one in April. He’ll often go to the back door and shout ‘cat’.

“I’ve got to distract him to bring him back in. There’s no cat there for him to play with any more.

“I also lost a day’s worth of work and the vet bill was over £300.

“It’s not just that they killed our pet, but they also cost us a lot of money as well.

“We lost our pet and probably about £400 overall, because of someone’s stupidity and evilness.”

An RSPCA spokesman said: “We are concerned there are reports of cats living in the same area who are believed to have died from poisoning. It must be very distressing for the owners.

“We would like to ask everyone in the area to keep an eye on their cats’ well-being and if they are showing symptoms of poisoning, get them veterinary treatment immediately.

“The signs of poisoning can include one, or several of the following: vomiting, seeming depressed or sleepy, appearing drunk and unco-ordinated, seizures, and difficulty breathing.

“If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned, you should take it to a vet immediately. If possible, you should take a sample of what the cat has eaten/drunk, or the container.”

Anyone who has information on the incident should contact the RSPCA’s Cruelty and Advice Line on 0300 1234999.