Up to 40 animals across Sussex may have fallen victim to the ‘M25 Animal Killer’, according to an animal rescue charity.
South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) is a Croydon-based charity that was one of the first to suggest there was a serial animal killer on the loose and supported the London Metropolitan Police force in the hunt.
Dubbed the Croydon Cat Killer, SNARL has urged the public to use the term M25 Animal Killer to reflect the wider scope of the deaths.
Last Thursday (September 20), the Met Police concluded the killings were the work of foxes, but SNARL has called on local forces, including Sussex Police, to conduct their own investigations.
Responding to the Met Police’s decision to close the case, SNARL co-founder Tony Jenkins said: “We are disappointed, obviously. We do think there is something going on, that’s been very clear from all the bodies. The injuries are far too clean.
“We’re not calling for the Met to reopen the case, but there’s no reason why other police forces couldn’t continue investigations in their own areas.”
Mr Jenkins pointed to a number of factors that contradicted the Met Police’s decision that the cats had likely died in traffic collisions and been dismembered by foxes afterwards.
He queried why the foxes would take the relatively meat-free tails and heads, but leave the more nutritious torsos intact. He also claimed heads and collars had been returned to the scenes after bodies were removed.
“There has also been no scuffing on the claws of the animals we’ve examined,” he said. “There will usually be scuffs on claws related to traffic accidents because cats try to grip the tarmac during the collision. Blunt force trauma can come from anything.”
Mr Jenkins also said decapitations had been conducted in exactly the same, precise method and that unless there was a ‘fox mastermind’ teaching other foxes to work in the exact same way, something more sinister could be at play.
In a statement, a Sussex Police spokesman said: “Sussex Police did refer a number of incidents of mutilated animals to the Op Takahe team at Metropolitan Police, but there was no evidence to suggest that there was anything suspicious about the deaths.
“Met Police has recently closed their investigation, finding no evidence to suggest the existence of the so-called ‘Croydon Cat Killer’.”
Last night a Worthing veterinary practice, Grove Lodge, voiced its support for SNARL and called on the Met Police to reopen their investigation.
Grove Lodge has been approached for comment.