IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Should foxes be blamed for cat killings?

28 September, 2018 — By Tom Foot

 Karen Heath runs Mama Cat Animal Rescue

 

A woman running the only fox rescue service in London has questioned police claims that the nocturnal animals may
be responsible for a series of gruesome cat dismemberments, writes Tom Foot.

Karen Heath said foxes were “much maligned” and had been “blamed for something they haven’t done”.

Met Police insisted earlier this month that the so-called “Croydon Cat Killer” did not exist.

The cat bodies – minus head and tails – left on owners’ doorsteps and in gardens were most likely the work of foxes salvaging roadkill, they concluded.

Ms Heath, who runs Mama Cat Animal Rescue and holds a monthly fox rescue meeting in Holloway, said: “While foxes will definitely pick up road- kill – they are scavengers after all, and it is a quick meal – foxes are just not that skilled that they can mimic a knife decapitation.” Foxes would not dare “take on a cat” one-on-one, she said.

Ms Heath said the animals’ reputation had been tarnished by an “anti-fox press” that was “pro-sensationalism”, often used images of yawning foxes to make them look dangerous with teeth bared.

Ms Heath has been rescuing cats and foxes for free for 25 years.

Up to 400 cats were at one stage thought to have fallen victim to a devious and cunning cat killer who slaughtered cherished pets before slicing them up for trophies.

A specific mark of the killer – never revealed publicly – left on dead animals is supposed to have linked suspicious cases.

SNARL, the South Norwood Animal Rescue Liberty group which has coordinated a private investigation, have also disputed the police’s findings.

The Met has been investigating for three years but last Friday said it now believed there was “no evidence of human involvement and all of the cases of cat mutilation will be recorded as ‘no crime’.”

It added scavenging foxes were most likely to blame.

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