21 SEP 2017
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Local News

Mystery of the missing cats

13 September 2017 - by brian@newryreporter.com

Cat owners have been warned to be on their guard after 21 cats were reported missing from the Newry area in recent months with 14 during August alone.

Most of the cats have disappeared from the Rathfriland Road and High Street areas of the city and since the start of August, they have gone missing from homes at Hollywood Grove, the Fullerton Road, Arthur Street and the Camlough Road.

There have been further mysterious disappearances from the Belfast Road, the Camlough/Bessbrook area and Chancellors Road, while four cats disappeared from John Mitchel Street and another four also went missing from the Orchard Bar area between January and May.

“There has to be something going on,” Emma O’Hare from Pet Connection in Newry told the Reporter.

“We know a lot of the owners of these cats as they were rehomed through us as kittens. Eight have gone missing in the last three weeks, four of which were from two different houses.

“About 14 cats altogether have gone missing in the last month. We tend to be the first people that are contacted when cats go missing because quite often a lot of them were rehomed by us from the start.”

Ms O’Hare said numerous owners contacted the store after their pets went missing.

She said Pet Connection is currently building up a database that will be forwarded on to the police.

 

Home loving cats

 

She said families have been left devastated by the disappearances.

“A lot of these cats rarely left the house, and if they did, they were back within an hour or two and that’s why it is so strange that they are going missing,” said Ms O’Hare. 

“Obviously some people have cats and they don’t worry too much if they haven’t seen them for a day or two, but nearly every one of these owners said their cat rarely leaves the house.

“The police can’t do anything unless there is some sort of evidence that there was a crime involved, so we are looking to gather as much evidence and information so that we may have a case that the police will look into for us.” 

Ms O’Hare urged owners to keep their pets inside.

She also said it is important that owners have their pets neutered and micro-chipped.

“We want to stress the importance of neutering to prevent cats from wandering, and micro-chipping so that even if the collar is removed when a cat is stolen, it can be reunited with its owners,” she added. 

“We are encouraging cat owners to keep their cats inside, particularly around the Fullerton Road area where there really seems to be an issue at present. 

“We are always on hand if anyone needs tips on keeping their cats inside. If cats must go outside, we would suggest that owners have them neutered, micro-chipped and wearing a cat specific safety ‘breakaway’ collar so they can’t get stuck in trees, with an identification tag.

“There have been some wonderful cases in the past with cats being reunited after months of being lost, due to microchips, and because many of the cats currently missing are micro-chipped we are really holding out hope that their loving owners will see them returned.”

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