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Concerns raised about Tuggeranong pet killer

Glynis Quinlan 7 May 2019 45

Sydnee Cooke from Gordon with her affectionate cat Marley in happier days. Photos: Supplied.

A cat kept in an enclosure in a Gordon backyard appears to have been viciously killed only days after a dog owner discovered dog treats laced with fish hooks in his backyard in the same suburb.

Sydnee Cooke from Gordon is still deeply upset that her sweet, affectionate cat Marley died in pain and alone after someone appears to have broken into her mesh enclosure on Thursday (April 2) and “aggressively attacked her”.

Her grief – and warning to other Tuggeranong pet owners – comes only days after James Roberts, from Lewis Luxton Avenue in Gordon, took to Facebook to share his harrowing account about how “some sick bastard” threw dog treats laced with fish hooks into his backyard.

Sydnee came home from work around 5.30 pm on Thursday evening and couldn’t find one of her family’s three cats. Her worst fears were realised when she found her own special cat Marley dead near the cat enclosure in the backyard.

Sydnee at first assumed that Marley had died from injuries sustained while trying to escape her enclosure (even though this was unusual behaviour for her), but the next morning Sydnee took Marley’s body to a veterinarian to find out more. The vet raised the alarm bells.

“A couple of hours later we got a call from the vet who suspected foul play and said the injuries were very suspicious and you should get the police involved,” Sydnee told Region Media.

“It was her lower body that was damaged,” she said. “She had multiple injuries including dislocated joints, broken bones and several lacerations on her body.

“It was really upsetting knowing she would have been in so much pain.”

After closer inspection, Sydnee noticed that the mesh tunnel to the enclosure appeared to have been cut open with what police later suggested to her would have been box cutters or a knife. Police also later told Sydnee they suspected Marley had been killed with the same tool.

The mesh enclosure is thought to have been cut with box cutters or a knife. Still from a video supplied.

Sydnee said that Marley was a really well-behaved, affectionate and friendly cat who would have gone up to someone if they were cutting into the enclosure.

“It’s really sad that someone would have taken advantage of her in this way. She wasn’t doing anything wrong. I don’t understand why.”

Sydnee said that, after they realised what had happened, the family’s first instinct was to warn other pet owners.

“We’ve got a lot of cats and dogs in our street. We wanted to warn everyone.”

Sydnee took to social media to ask people to “PLEASE keep your pets inside and secure ESPECIALLY in the Gordon area”.

“It’s just especially what they did to her. They would have very aggressively attacked her,” said Sydnee who had owned seven-year-old Marley since the cat was six months old and really misses her little companion.

Marley was a sweet, affectionate cat and Sydnee is deeply upset that she died in so much pain.

“She was very loyal. She always just wanted to sleep with me and be with me.”

ACT Policing has been investigating Marley’s death and police have been out to see the Gordon backyard. The RSPCA ACT is also understood to be involved.

ACT Policing told Region Media that the investigation remains open and they have asked anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers at 1800 333 000 or via (Reference 6391854).

Last week James Roberts also used social media to warn dog owners about the dog treats laced with fish hooks he had found near his gate and garbage bins.

“I just can’t believe how awful and truly sick some people can be to do something so bloody cruel and nasty to innocent animals,” he said.

“If you have a dog please be cautious and alert of your dog at all times and be aware of your surroundings and check out the areas in which your dog moves around in case they have possibly thrown the bait over.”

Dog treats with hooks in them were also found in NSW last week. Photo: Supplied.

ACT Policing and Domestic Animal Services have also been advised of this incident.

RSPCA ACT chief Michelle Robertson told Region Media late last week that “every week, we see animals at the RSPCA ACT who have either been let down or hurt by humans”.

“Of course, our hope is that people would stop being cruel to animals altogether, but until such time, we remind the community that it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly poison a domestic or native animal, punishable by fines over $5000 and imprisonment for up to one year,” she said.

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45 Responses to
Concerns raised about Tuggeranong pet killer
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Timothy Hughes 12:55 pm 08 May 19

Agree with all of the comments. A very sick person, hope they catch whoever did it.

russianafroman 10:07 am 08 May 19

Wouldn’t be surprised if the guy’s doing it for attention. He knows that his works will end up in the papers, therefore he does it to see the response. People need to invest in proper security systems for their houses like we do. Security cameras, high fences, locked doors etc. The police in this territory are woefully incapable due to lack of funding, it’s up to the people to guard themselves and their property.

g210 9:54 am 08 May 19

Clearly a psycho in the making.

9:00 am 08 May 19


7:35 am 08 May 19

Jeremy, this one? 🤬🤬🤬🤬

9:34 pm 07 May 19

Oh my god Stephanie McDermott

9:24 pm 07 May 19

Keep your fur babies close everyone!

This is absolutely disgusting. Disgusting human being(s)! These people, who are doing this, are a waste of space in our society and community. Shame we can’t put fish hooks into their food and make them eat. Do the crime pay the price in the exact same way. Karma will get you eventually!

7:25 pm 07 May 19

Rich Haureliuk be careful. Especially after finding those weird kangaroo skewers in your backyard. 😡

7:18 pm 07 May 19

If i found someone doing this they'll wish the cops had rocked up. Oxygen thieves. Eliza

    9:00 pm 07 May 19

    Reece Williams bruhhh they will become cat food if anyone finds out who they are 😂 Canberrans love their pets so much ❤️

7:14 pm 07 May 19

Jason Van Putten keep Elmo inside it’s a dog eat dog world out there

6:26 pm 07 May 19

Michelle Lea be careful with your furbabies.

    6:31 pm 07 May 19

    Rochelle I saw this! Fortunately my cat is a totally indoors cat. Such a horrendous thing to do to an innocent pet 😢

5:16 pm 07 May 19

What a horrible person. Only a matter of time before they attack a person. They are a danger to the community so I hope they are caught soon.

And when caught they should be placed on a database, tracked, and treated worse than a paedophile for the rest of their sad pathetic life.

4:50 pm 07 May 19

Anyone who could do this to innocent animals is a danger to our community - they are clearly a psychopath.

3:46 pm 07 May 19

WTF is wrong with people, how could you be so cruel?

3:30 pm 07 May 19

God I hope the cops find this waste of space. 😪

3:15 pm 07 May 19

I’m up in Monash and I interrupted an intruder who assumed no one was home and was trying to remove our guinea pigs from their enclosure. They bolted before I could see them but we’ve added extra locks and are looking into security cameras now.

People like that are people that turn into serial killers. They tend to start with animals. 😞

    7:46 am 08 May 19

    Alix Ashurst Dolstra Yup. Serial killer in the making!

    5:09 am 09 May 19

    Alix I have a spare camera if you need, its a spare cop cam and can be mounted outside, if interested let me know and arrange a time to pick it u

    11:27 am 09 May 19

    Gail Hamilton I’m in a rental so I’m looking into cameras that don’t damage the property but if there’s options with that camera for renters, I’m definitely interested!

    9:39 pm 12 May 19

    I just got cctv. they plate up any drilled holes when you move. Very reasonable price and worth it for peace of mind

2:54 pm 07 May 19

Carolina Arroyo be careful with Stell. Whoever it is should be shot!!!

2:46 pm 07 May 19

I’m so sorry for these terrible losses of people’s fur babies but I’m wondering if the cat enclosure could have been broken into by a fox?

Whichever way this is an awful thing to have happened. We also live in Gordon and have fur babies ourselves and have recently had our oldest pass away after 15 years 😢

    5:36 pm 07 May 19

    The article says the police believe the enclosure was cut open with a box cutter and the cat killed with the same implement, so very unlikely to be a fox.

2:40 pm 07 May 19

😿 RIP Marley.

😡🤬😡🤬 Let's hope they catch the 'less than human' scum that is inflicting these terrible injuries on these much loved pets.

2:34 pm 07 May 19

Probably only a matter of time before someone someone graduates to killing humans. I hope the police find him (highly likely it’s a young male) and lock him up. And watch him closely for the rest of his life.

    7:02 am 08 May 19

    Reuben Durham would be better to just shoot him/her that is doing this to the poor animals. Tax dollars shouldn't keep this scum alive.

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