A spate of vicious cat killings across Croydon has seen animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) put out a £5,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.
In an exclusive interview with SW Londoner, the owner of one of the victims has revealed his family’s devastation at losing their beloved pet so close to Christmas.
Wayne Bryant, 47, found his cat Amber decapitated in woodlands behind his home in Jasmine Gardens estate in October.
“We have small children, and I don’t want to explain it to them,” said the grieving father-of-two.
“They don’t need to know what happened to her. They just need to know that she’s off in the woods playing with the squirrels.”
Mr Bryant revealed that if he had known how frequent cat murders were in the borough he would have kept Amber inside.
“I would have much preferred that she had been hit by a car, because it would be much easier to deal with,” he said.
“I don’t know what’s going through these people’s minds. I wouldn’t like to guess. I’m an animal lover – I wouldn’t even kill a spider.”
Croydon-based animal sanctuary South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberation (SNARL), believe Amber is one of 32 victims in the last two years, and say authorities have not done enough to deal with the problem.
SNARL co-founder Tony Jenkins said: “To begin with we were quite upset with the council. In their policy they’re supposed to collect dead cats and chip-check them.
“They’re not doing it. They’re literally just putting them in the bin.”
Recent publicity has brought the case a great deal more attention, and last week PETA made the announcement they were placing a reward on the murderer’s head.
PETA associate director Elisa Allen said: “Animal abusers are a danger to everyone –they take their issues out on whoever is available to them, human or non-human, and must be caught before they act again.”
A petition urging south London’s police services to take a more active role in the investigation has been supported by more than 32,000 signatures.
A Met spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Anyone with any information should contact Croydon Police on 101 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.