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Family’s agony at poisoned cats

PUBLISHED: 13:43 12 November 2010

Hetty Snowling , with (from left) William (5), Emmy (5) whose cats have been poisoned and Samuel .; Photo: Andy Darnell; Copy: Miles Jermy; For: GYM; Archant © 2010 (01603) 772434

Hetty Snowling , with (from left) William (5), Emmy (5) whose cats have been poisoned and Samuel .; Photo: Andy Darnell; Copy: Miles Jermy; For: GYM; Archant © 2010 (01603) 772434

Archant © 2010

A GORLESTON family had to put down two of their beloved pet cats on the same day after the animals were callously poisoned.

Katharine and Dean Snowling took the heartbreaking decision to put the cats to sleep in the space of just a few hours on Sunday.

Ginger Ninja and Marmalade belonged to two of the couple’s children William and Emmy.

The brother and sister had doted on their ginger cats which were both just 18 months old.

The loss of his cat Ginger Ninja particularly upset William who had his fifth birthday this week.

Mum Katharine, 33, said: “William has been diagnosed with autism and we are trying not to tell him too much about what happened to his cat.

“We were told by the vet that they were poisoned with anti-freeze. A friend’s cats were killed by it and ours had the same symptoms.

“It starts with bad co-ordination wobbling on their legs and then not being able to walk at all.

“One of the cats put her head forward to try and eat something and literally flipped over. It can cause fits and both our cats bought up black grey vomit.

She added: “We are absolutely devastated, especially so for the children, it has put a right downer on William’s birthday.

“I think it is disgusting that anyone could do this. I know that some people don’t like cats, but this is terribly cruel.”

Earlier this year her two-year-old daughter Hetty’s cat Honey Monster disappeared and Katharine fears he was poisoned too.

Hetty, five-year-old Emmy and Katharine’s eldest son Samuel, 11, are all being assessed for autism.

As well as having to look after her four special needs children, Katharine 
suffers from a disability called hyper-mobility that causes her joints to dislocate and from a condition fybromialga, which causes extreme tiredness and pain .

Husband Dean has recently given up work to help care for the family who live on Hewett Close.

Pet owners have been urged by the RSPCA this week to protect their animals from accidental poisoning.

New figures show the number of annual calls about animal poisoning received by the RSPCA have reached their highest level in five years.

The most worrying trend was in reports of an increase in cat poisonings, with the animal charity receiving 568 calls last year, compared to 347 in 2005.

The majority of calls received relate to suspected deliberate acts. However, owners are being warned that even common items such as chocolate, grapes and paracetamol could harm their pets.

Pet owners can log onto new poisoning advice pages at the RSPCA website –- www.rspca.org.uk/poisoning.

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