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  1. ITV Report

Hunt for Croydon cat killer as death toll rises

Cats are being killed in vicious and brutal ways. This is not one of the cats killed in Croydon. Photo: Press Association.

The hunt for a possible animal serial killer stalking the streets of south London has been stepped up after it emerged up to 30 animals may have died.

Local pet owners around Croydon have been reporting vicious killings of cats, with many being dismembered and decapitated, for almost two years.

Recent deaths of two puppies and a rabbit are also thought to have been linked to the same individual, or group of individuals, responsible for the vicious crimes.

Animal rights charity PETA has offered £5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator, and a host of celebrities have been joining the hunt on social media, sharing the reward with their millions of followers.

Caroline Flack, Dermot O'Leary and You Me At Six's Josh Franceshi have alerted more than four million Twitter followers to PETA's reward.

The Vamps’ lead guitarist, James McVey, is offering free tour tickets to anyone who can help find the maniac.

Peta have advised pet owners to keep a close eye on their animals - and even keep them inside - until 'the Croydon cat ripper' has been caught.

It’s imperative that any community faced with such sadistic and violent acts take measures to find the culprit and bring him or her to justice.

Animal abusers are a danger to everyone: they take out their issues on humans and non-humans alike and must be caught before they act again. History shows that past incidents involving cruelty to animals regularly appear in the records of serial rapists and murderers.

– PETA

Police said they are currently investigating the killings.

Police in Croydon are investigating a number of incidents relating to cat deaths in the area. We are currently working to establish the facts.

– Met Police