Gardener Poisoned Neighbour’s Prize Cats for Urinating on Strawberry Patch with Ani-Freeze
A woman gardener poisoned her neighbour’s rare cats by putting out bowls of tuna laced with anti-freeze because she did not like them urinating on her strawberries, a court heard yesterday.
Katherine Hall, 57, claimed she just wanted to scare the twin Abyssinians, named Nush and Mr Baz, but they died “in agony” days later.
Andrew Boyd, 51, said he and his wife Wilma has been extremely upset by the deaths of their five-year-old pets.
The court heard that Mr Baz had been touted as a future champion Abyssinian, and Mr Boyd, who also has three cocker spaniels, paid £23 to his vet in an attempt to save him.
The cat died in October last year and his twin was put down four days later.
Mr Boyd, a wedding photographer, told the court: “Mr Baz came through the cat flap into the home and was sick in the utility room.
“He was then sick later on that day another couple of times and was yowling with stress. He was wobbly and kept falling over.
“He was taken to the local vets, where he was put down at 5am the next morning, and they suspected he’d been poisoned.
“Nush was in bed for most of the time after her brother died, and we assumed it was because she was heartbroken, but when she finally came out on October 4, she wasn’t eating or drinking much.
“She was miaowing in pain and couldn’t get up. Then her legs went, and she was shivering.
“We took her to the vet’s in Stirling, but they quickly noticed how serious the situation was, and said she would have to be put to sleep. I was bawling my eyes out when we were told the news.”
After being told of the vet’s suspicions he went round the neighbourhood and noticed a selection of tubs filled with tuna in Mrs Hall’s garden.
Sgt Michael Matheson said she was initially evasive, but then admitted: “It was me. We’ve spent a lot of money on the garden. I wanted to stop them leaving nasty smells and poo-ing. They did it continuously.
“Our grandchildren liked to eat the fruit, but we had to be careful because of the cats.”
Mrs Hall, who worked for 30 years for her husband’s double glazing company, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and giving the cats poison.
Sheriff Craig Caldwell ordered her to pay £1,500 compensation but stopped short of imposing a fine or considering community service or a jail sentence. He told her: “I take a dim view of cruelty to animals.”
Mr Boyd said the sentence was too lenient, adding: “I don’t want to see anyone going to jail, but she should have been banned from having animals, and given community service at least.”
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