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Villagers in Edmundbyers living in fear as cats attacked with air rifle
A MYSTERY cat killer has been terrorising a peaceful village targeting residents’ pets with an air rifle.
The first cat was killed in Edmundbyers, County Durham, three years ago - since when there has been a steady stream of pets being killed or maimed by pellets.
Villagers are furious and believe that someone among their midst is responsible.
Caron Kerr has had two cats killed by the mystery shooter while another one survived after being shot with an air pellet.
A fourth cat, a 10-year-old who has never before left home, is missing, and Ms Kerr fears he may have also been a victim of the unknown marksman.
She said: “It is very unpleasant, we are all feeling uneasy as we think it is someone in the village.”
Ms Kerr said the cats seem to realise what is going on and are avoiding areas where they used to play, such as a recreation area behind the village.
She said one family was so devastated by their death of their cat that they sold their house and moved away from the village.
Another woman had only been living in Edmundbyers for two weeks when her cat was shot.
Ms Kerr said: “She had moved here believing it would be safer for her cat, but it was not.
“This is not something you would expect from a place like Edmundbyers.”
Several cats have been killed, with more suffering injuries including one who was paralysed after a pellet damaged his spine.
Several more have gone missing with residents fearing they have also fallen foul of the cat killer.
Ms Kerr has now stopped her 10-year-old daughter riding her pony through the village as she fears a stray pellet may strike the animal or child.
Police have made the problem a priority and Sergeant Adam Howell from the Weardale Neighbourhood Policing team said it is being treated very seriously.
He said: “This is clearly upsetting for those individuals and families who have had their much-loved pets killed or injured.”
Sgt Howell also said officers believe a resident in the village is responsible and appealed for anyone with information to contact PCSO Tracy Bilton at Stanhope Police Station on 101.
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