Published: 12:46, 10 August 2019
| Updated: 14:17, 10 August 2019
An animal welfare group believes a blade was used to sever a cat's head found in Dartford.
South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) was called to investigate on Thursday, after the remains of a British Blue cat were found in a garden in the Willow Road area.
The group - which has worked with police investigating the so called "Croydon Cat Killer" or "UK Animal Killer" - has since shared a message from the owner's of the cat, called Oscar, on its Facebook page.
"One of our volunteers collected the body part this morning and took to a vets for examination," said SNARL in a statement. "We were then informed that the headless body of a British Blue cat had been found in a front garden nearby so our volunteer returned and took the cat to vets. The cat’s tail had also been removed.
"A veterinary examination confirmed that his injuries had been caused by a bladed instrument and were not caused by an animal. It is suspected that the cat’s head had been moved by a fox, although there was no obvious predation."
The group thanked members of the public who reported the find and safeguarded the cat, along with all those who helped with the investigation and spread information on the incident.
Anyone who lives in the Willow Road area and has CCTV footage between 6pm on Wednesday August 7 and 11am on Thursday August 8 is asked to contact the group.
SNARL's statement added. "Oscar's owners have kindly shared a photograph of their beautiful cat with the following message:
'Oscar, you have left our lives without our permission, but you will never leave our hearts and nobody can change that. Alessia, Elena & Stefan."
SNARL has investigated hundreds of animal killings around the South East attributed to the "Croydon Cat Killer" in recent years.
"Oscar, you have left our lives without our permission, but you will never leave our hearts and nobody can change that..."
However, in 2018 the Metropolitan Police concluded that the mutilations had not been carried out by a human and were probably the result of wildlife predation or scavenging on cats killed in vehicle collisions.
SNARL remain committed to investigating the cases and have warned owners to keep cats indoors dusk till dawn if possible and ensure rabbit hutches are padlocked and gardens secured.
A leaflet distributed by the group states: "The incidents known as the #ukanimalkiller killings are being investigated by the SNARL team in conjunction with other organisations.
"Please contact us on 020 80587778 or 07961 030064 or via SNARL Facebook messenger if you find any mutilated animals or body parts of if you see anyone behaving suspiciously around cats, rabbits or foxes.
"If you see anyone harming an animal please contact the police on 999 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234999."