A BRITISH expatriate has told the Euro Weekly News that several cats in colonies in Casares have been found dead and are thought to have been poisoned.
Kathy Brown, who moved to the Costa del Sol in April 2018, said she was “absolutely gutted” about the deaths of at least five cats. Their bodies were found near to the Majestic Hills urbanisation where Ms Brown lives.
“I love cats and I wanted to get involved with a charity when I moved here, so I joined Gatos Y Amigos (Cats and Friends in English),” Ms Brown said.
There were 15 cats living in a colony that Ms Brown and other volunteers looked after. They were neutering and releasing the animals and re-homing kittens too young for the procedure.
“Community gardeners told me they saw cats vomiting. Five of them were later found dead,” Ms Brown said.
“We are 99 per cent sure they were deliberately poisoned. Everyone’s so upset about it, no one knows why anyone would do this,” she said.
Out of the 15 cats in one colony, only four are left in Ms Brown’s care, she said. Some are missing and Ms Brown said she feared they were also dead.
“Locals here are now reluctant to let domestic cats and dogs out of the house because they are worried they might get poisoned,” Ms Brown said.
Eugenio Blanca, head of Gatos Y Amigos, told Euro Weekly News he and other group members were very disappointed.
“It was a big job which volunteers were doing for free to help control the number of cats for the local community. And now they have been poisoned,” Blanca said.
“Rat poison can be bought in supermarkets so it is very easy for anyone who wants to kill animals to do so. The authorities should be controlling this more,” he added.
Blanca said the group is due to hold a meeting today (Thursday) to decide how to go forward.
Casares Council, which works with Gatos Y Amigos to neuter the cats, said the work of the volunteers was “essential” to control cat populations.
A total of 363 cats have been neutered since March 2018, according to the local authority’s figures.
After the newspaper exclusively broke the story we were contacted by reader Alexi Kruyt who said: “I just read your article in the newspaper of today concerning the killing of cats.
“The same thing happened with five of my cats some time ago.
“I went to the vet and told them after it was sure they were poisoned and they advised me to go to the council and ask for Seprona, the animal safety department of the Guardia Civil.
Alexi continued: “The council advised me if it happened again to leave the cat where it is, do not move it. They will then come with a sniffer dog which is capable of sniffing out where the poison came from.
“With me it never happened again so I did not use it but perhaps this is a possibility to find out who is responsible for this.
“It is so painful.”