A family cat who was found with open wounds and almost fully decapitated is feared to be the latest victim of the ‘M25 Cat Killer’.
Father-of-four Simon Vine said their three-year-old ginger cat, Millie, was discovered by a neighbour.
The 51-year-old said his family were ‘hysterical’ when they found out about the attack on their ‘defenceless’ pet, in Hayling Island, near Portsmouth.
Mr Vine said he had initially believed their beloved pet had been killed by another animal.
But rescuers from South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL), based in Croydon, south London, who have been investigating the killing spree, told him the fatal injuries had been inflicted by a human.
Mr Vine, who has offered a £500 reward for information which leads to a successful prosecution, said: ‘This is an extremely difficult situation for us – the feeling is not good at all.
‘The sickest thing for our family to get our head around is the fact someone could kill a defenceless animal like that, in cold blood.
‘My children and my partner were absolutely hysterical when they heard the news.
‘I would do anything to see this horrible person caught for what they have done.
‘If someone can do this to an animal so consistently, my worry is they can do it to a person too.
‘It is crucial this person is found and given the help they so clearly need.’
The M25 Cat Killer or Croydon Cat Killer is believed to have struck more than 400 times in the last two years.
The attacks started in Croydon, but the killer is now believed to be responsible for mutilations in Sussex, Northampton and even as far north as Manchester.
The attacks began in 2014 and the animal murderer has now been linked with more than 400 deaths across the country.
Police investigating the crimes believe they are looking for a white man in his 40s with short brown hair and possible facial scarring.
Officers released the description, saying they are now focusing on two or three suspects having compiled a list of around 40 names, after the killings soared this year, with 246 animals found dead so far.
Tony Jenkins, co-founder of Snarl, said: ‘After we took Millie back to London for an examination alongside other victims, it was clear her injuries were similar to those we had seen as part of this investigation before.
‘I don’t want to go into the gory details, but it looked like she had been carved out.
‘To keep your cats safe, I would advise residents to stay vigilant and make sure they are bringing their pets inside at night to be safe.’
Millie’s death has been reported to Hampshire Constabulary and Met Police.
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