Cat found completely skinned: Second animal mutilated in Hackney within three weeks

A file image of a grey and white kitten. Picture: Clemens V Vogelsang/Flickr/Creative Commons licenc

A file image of a grey and white kitten. Picture: Clemens V Vogelsang/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0 - Credit: Archant

A cat which was found “completely skinned” in Millfields Park is the second animal which is believed to have been mutilated in Hackney within the space of three weeks.

She was found by a Hackney Council worker yesterday at the entrance to the park in Lower Clapton near the River Lea towpath, and has been taken to a vet for examination.

The first animal was found just just 500m away, on December 23, in a car park in Rossington Street, Upper Clapton. The kitten was discovered decapitated and without her tail. Her head and tail were never found.

Police are investigating both incidents, which appear to have been carried out by a human rather than a fox or other predator.

There were fears the so-called “M25 cat killer” could have been responsible for the first incident, which bore the hallmarks of dozens of dead cat bodies which have been found mutilated.

Postmortems carried out on many of the dead animals have shown the same weapon had been used in each case and the serial killer is believed to have been responsible for nearly 100 cat deaths in the past year.

The South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) charity is working with the RSPCA and Metropolitan Police to hunt for the killer in an Operation called Takahe.

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Tony Jenkins from SNARL told the Gazette they cannot say at this stage whether the latest death could be linked.

“We need to look at photos or at the body to see if it’s linked, but either way it sounds suspicious,” he said.

“In terms of the killings we have been investigating so far, we haven’t had one that has been skinned so to speak - but we have had a few where a tail has been taken and a patch of skin around the tail area.

He added: “Whether it’s linked or not is irrelevant because some bugger has done it.

“It’s hard to say if someone else might be getting ideas.

“We have always had a battle with the publicity point of view. From a psychological point if view it could be egging him on and giving him a thrill.

“But we decided early on with the police team involved we need to publicise it, because people need to keep their cats safe and if a mutilated body is found to report it appropriately. As long as people continue to let their cats out he’s got easy prey.”

The suspect was initially dubbed the “Croydon cat killer” due to a spate of incidents in that area.

But cases have been found across London and as far afield as Northampstonshire and St Albans.

Hackney Council’s voluntary cat protection officer, Barbara Read, has advised people to keep their cat indoors between dusk and dawn.

She also recommends getting cats neutered before the age of six months, to prevent them wandering too far from home.

Cats should be registered with a vet and microchipped so they can be identified if injured or lost.

Anyone who finds a cat’s mutilated body or head should call SNARL on 07961 030 064 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.