Black cat
A five-month-old black kitten may be the latest victim of the animal killer (file photo)REUTERS/Andrew Winning

A five-month-old kitten was found badly mutilated and killed in Archway and now a local animal shelter believes this may be the work of the "Croydon Cat Ripper", an individual or individuals, who may be responsible for the torture and deaths of more than 50 domestic pets. On 13 April, South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (Snarl) informed authorities that the black kitten Daffy was found brutally tortured before being killed.

"Daffy's death bears all the hallmarks of the animal killer who has been confirmed responsible for the 'murders' of over 20 cats, rabbits and foxes since September 2016," Boudicca Rising, an employee at Snarl, told the Islington Gazette.

"They are also suspected of 'murdering' more than 50 others over the past two years, in a number of areas – from Luton down to Frimley in Surrey, from Kingston, across Greater London, including Finchley and Stepney, as well as across south London," she added.

According to the Snarl Facebook page, Daffy suffered injuries similar to those of the other victims.

"We are dismayed and distressed that a little kitten of five months could be killed so violently, without any regard for the family who owned her," the owners of the cat said.

Another cat was also found murdered in Wharncliffe Gardens on 15 April but it hasn't been confirmed if the attack carries the same modus operandi. A ginger feline, Bobby, was mutilated and murdered on 10 April in Thornton Heath.

Peta is now offering a £5,000 ($7,073) reward for any valid information that will help authorities catch the animal killer who may also have been responsible for the murder of a number of rabbits and foxes.

Aside from the brutal mutilation of the animals, a matter of concern for many is the possibility of the perpetrator moving from animals to humans, as psychologists consider animal cruelty a starting point from which these disturbed individuals could evolve to attacking people.