Dagenham fears cats are napped for dog fights

FAMILIES have raised fears that their cats are being used as bait in illegal dog fights after seven cats disappeared from one street last month. Owners living in Coombes Road are terrified their cats have been stolen by a gang who, they claim, run a dog

FAMILIES have raised fears that their cats are being used as bait in illegal dog fights after seven cats disappeared from one street last month.

Owners living in Coombes Road are terrified their cats have been stolen by a gang who, they claim, run a dog fighting ring in Parsloes Park.

Sonia Hussey, who used to work for pet's charity PDSA, has lost her beloved 15-year-old tabby, Gizmo.

He went missing from her home in Coombes Road on February 4 at around 8.30pm, he was wearing a white collar.


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"My cat is about the seventh that I know has gone missing from my area in a short space of time," said Sonia.

"It worries me where they are and what is happening to them.

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"I have heard that a gang runs a dog fighting ring in Parsloes Park. I dread to think that they are using our cats in these fights."

At about the same time Gizmo disappeared from Coombes Road, two injured cats and one dead cat were found in nearby Parsloes Park.

The RSPCA appealed for information after finding the poor creatures had been dumped in a cardboard box.

A spokeswoman for the charity told the POST that when cats go missing it is unfortunately, usually because they have been hit by a car.

"There are people involved in dog fighting," she said. "And they do set dogs on cats."

The RSPCA's chief inspector for Barking and Dagenham has been informed about Coombes Road residents' concerns and will investigate.

Sonia added. "I'm so worried about Gizmo because he's not well and he needs his medication.

"He has metal pins in his pelvis due to a break when he was kitten. Without his medication every day he will end up in serious pain and will die."

Police and Park Rangers have been informed about the pets' disappearances and are investigating residents' claims.

A police spokeswoman said: "No reports of dog fighting in Parsloes Park have been received.

"However the safer neighbourhood teams covering that area are aware of residents' concerns and shall continue to be vigilant."

A council spokesman told the POST that no reports of missing cats or dog fighting had reached their Parks Police service.

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