Cancer survivor’s agony over cat poisoning

Vanessa Vaughan, Dan Skidmore, George Skidmore and Michelle Dunn with pictures of their poisoned pet cats
Vanessa Vaughan, Dan Skidmore, George Skidmore and Michelle Dunn with pictures of their poisoned pet cats

A CANCER survivor has been left devastated after the pet cat she was given after being diagnosed with the killer condition was poisoned.

Cat-lover Vanessa Vaughan was given Tigger around 18 months ago to give her a boost after she was diagnosed with cancer in May 2009.



But Tigger had to be put down after he was poisoned with what is believed to be anti-freeze.

The 43-year-old is just one of four cat-owners to have lost much-loved pets during a spate of poisonings who have joined together to try and put an end to the killings.

Four cats have died suddenly in the space of a week in the Shakespeare Avenue area of Hartlepool, as reported in the Mail.

Vets have put the cause of the deaths down to anti-freeze, much to the disgust and dismay of their loving owners.

Gill McDade with Daisy

Gill McDade with Daisy

Now the grieving group have met to discuss how they can stop more cats suffering similar slow and painful deaths.

Vanessa, of Shakespeare Avenue, had three cats before 18-month-old Tigger had to be put down when his kidneys gradually failed over the course of five days.

Mum-of-three Vanessa, who is married to Cliffy, 50, said: “I’m recovering from the cancer now thankfully and just need regular check-ups, but then this happens.

“All the cats were presents while I was battling cancer and they have helped me through it. It’s heartbreaking to see what is happening to these animals.

“We want to put an end to this, to find out what is happening and to make it stop. Someone must be out there doing this for whatever reason.

“We hear rumours and people saying it’s him or her because they don’t like cats, but we just want to put a stop to it.

“Hopefully this person doesn’t realise that this is killing the cats and they use something else to deter them.”

Michelle Dunn, 41, also of Shakespeare Avenue, had her 18-month-old cat Patches put down after it was found severely ill in a friend’s garden two weeks ago.

She also lost a cat last year called Sandy in similar circumstances.

Michelle, who is married to Kevin, 43, said: “I have two other cats and I’m worried about them now.

“You can’t keep them in and I try to keep an eye on them but they are cats and need to be out.

“I want to find out who is doing this and put an end to it.”

Gill McDade, 48, is also part of the group.

The Mail reported last Friday how she was left heartbroken when her two-year-old cat Daisy had to be put down.

The mum-of-three, who lives in Oxford Road, had found her cat suffering fits and was also told by a vet that it had swallowed anti-freeze.

And Dan Skidmore and his son George fear their cat has also been poisoned.

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