01:30PM, Thursday 03 May 2018
Tasha the cat
The co-founder of an animal rescue group which has been tracking a nationwide cat killer has hit out at the police response after two more animals where found mutilated last month.
On Friday, April 13, the body of a black rabbit was found in Marlow and, on the same day, the body of a black and white cat called Tasha was found by a neighbour in Burnham.
Both are believed to bear the hallmarks of the same cat killer who struck twice in March in Marlow near an infant school in Sandygate Road.
The rabbit discovery was also made in the same area.
Tony Jenkins, co-founder of South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL), has been involved in the investigation into the killings since October 2015.
He believes the animal killer is responsible for the killing of hundreds of foxes, cats and other domesticated animals like rabbits, found mutilated in similar ways across the country.
Tony said he had been disappointed with Thames Valley Police’s initial response to the Burnham incident, as the force put it down to a fox. He said: “We examined it and told the police they had made a mistake.”
Tony explained that incidents can’t be classed as animal cruelty or torture under the law as the group believes the animals are being killed before being mutilated. It means the offence becomes criminal damage, trespassing or carrying a knife.
He said that too few forces were taking the issue seriously enough and called for serious crime officers to make ‘common sense visits’ to the scene of each incident as he often finds items that ‘looked out of place’ like energy drinks and pet food.
“The problem we’ve been getting is not that dissimilar to the Yorkshire Ripper, some forces only investigate their patch and don’t communicate,” he said.
“It’s horrific. It’s not just a cat, it’s a member of the family.”
A memorial post shared on SNARL’s Facebook page on behalf of Tasha’s owner read: “To my lovely pretty Tasha who over the last 14 years has brought me so much pleasure and love.
“I'm so sorry I didn't keep you safe from that evil person. Rest in peace my gorgeous girl.”
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police has now confirmed the incident in Burnham is being linked to the cat killer after a post-mortem showed it to looked like a knife was used.
He said: “It’s being treated as a crime, the investigation will be filed pending further information coming to light. We have also passed the details to the Met as part of Operation Takahe [investigating the killings].
“We would ask anyone with information however to call 101 quoting reference 43180110914.”
A £10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the attacks.
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