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.
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.
“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 www.crimestoppers.com.au (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.”
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.