POLICE and an animal welfare charity have hit out at those responsible for the horrific death of a much-loved family pet in Tweedbank, writes Adam Drummond.
The three-year-old black cat was found decapitated near Essenside Drive on Friday, August 31, at the rear of the community centre, close to the river.
The gruesome discovery has prompted a joint investigation by Lothian and Borders Police and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), with officers carrying out door-to-door enquiries in the neighbouring streets.
Inspector Mike Wynne of Lothian and Borders Police said: “This is a despicable act to carry out on an animal and is of considerable distress to the family who are devastated at the loss of their pet. We are carrying out local enquiries to identify those responsible and anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity in Essenside Drive, the woodland surrounding the area or the Melrose to Galashiels railway walk is asked to contact police immediately.
“Similarly, anyone with any other information that can assist with our investigation is also asked to get in touch.”
SSPCA Chief Inspector Paul Anderson added: “This appears to have been a particularly horrific act of cruelty on a much-loved pet cat and we would urge anyone with information to contact the police or ourselves as soon as possible.”
One local resident told TheSouthern that the incident had caused a great deal of concern locally, especially among pet owners.
The resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’m a cat lover and have three myself, and this is a terrible, terrible thing to happen.
“It was a neighbour of mine who was looking after the black cat since April after some people had moved away.
“It happened at night because she let the cat out at night and normally let it back in in the morning, but it didn’t come back.”
The woman said that a dog walker made the grisly discovery, finding the cat’s decapitated head alongside the body, as well as the cat’s collar.
She added: “I’ve been here 30 years and I have never heard of anything like this happening.
“I just hope that they catch whoever did it.”
The police and SSPCA have urged anyone who can assist with their enquiries to come forward.
Anyone with any information about this incident can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131 or the SSPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.
Alternatively, they can contact the charity Crimestoppers in complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.