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Hunt for Paignton cat killer after five pets mutilated

At least five cats living on the same street in Paignton have been attacked in the last 18 months. Credit: ITV News West Country

Pet owners in Paignton believe a cat killer is targeting local felines - after five were attacked in one street in 18 months.

At least five cats living on the same road in the Devon town have been attacked since the summer of 2017.

Four of those have later died from injuries that included burns, a crushed vertebrae and singed whiskers.

Other cats living in the same area have also been reported missing.

Yvonne Harrison’s cats Ziggy and Taiyou both died within a year after being injured near her home in Roundham Road.

Yvonne Harrison. Credit: ITV News West Country

She said she didn’t believe her cats had been set upon by a person until a vet confirmed their injuries were deliberate.

It was only when the vet said these are deliberate injuries that we actually believed it, because you don’t want to believe someone’s actually doing that to your pets.

It’s really quite difficult to live with. We didn’t really want to believe it but when we went round door-to-door, asking if anybody had seen anything, we discovered very similar things had happened to another couple of cats, just a couple of doors away.

We were then in a state of shock.

– Yvonne Harrison

Feline Network, a Paignton-based cat charity, has since offered a reward of more than £1,200 in an attempt to find the person - or group - responsible for the killings.

Debbie Johnson, from the charity, explained: “People are very scared to let their cats out - they don’t know what to do or who to turn to.

“We got the group together because it gives people a focal point to discuss bow upset they’re feeling and to support one another.”