A £5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the capture of the infamous 'Croydon Cat Ripper,' a killer of domestic pets believed to have slain and mutilated up to 50 animals. The animal rights charity PETA said it will give £5,000 in reward money for the capture of the grisly slasher, after one pet owner added his voice to calls on authorities to step up their efforts.
The owner of a ginger cat, identified as Bobby, who was found killed in Thornton Heath on 10 April, said the perpetrator needs to be brought to justice, labelling them as "a psychopath".
"On Friday my stepdad called me. I could hear from his voice I should go home. I instantly burst into tears — not even knowing what happened but I assumed the worst. I saw his tail had been cut off and his collar removed," Niro Kavanen told the Evening Standard.
"Buddy would always come to me when he was scared. They need to catch who is doing this — if nothing else, just raise awareness that there is this psychopath going around," he added.
Kavanen had put up missing posters for Buddy when he went missing on 6 April. Before the 26-year-old became aware The South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty group (SNARL) announced the killing on its Facebook page after the death was reported to police in Thorton Heath by a bus driver.
"The cat had been dead in the garden for two days before being reported to the police by local bus drivers, who we would like to thank as they called the police.
"We'd also like to thank the two PCSOs who secured the scene, shielded the cat's body from view, giving him some dignity," the group said in a statement.
SNARL claimed the cat slasher is responsible for the deaths of more than 50 cats and other animals, moving far beyond Croydon in search of prey.
"As most people are now aware, there have been upwards of 50 cats, rabbits and foxes found dead, apparently murdered, across London over the past couple of years," the group said in a statement in February.
It lists a series of incidents within the M25 which have included the removal of organs, bones and other body parts, dating back to March 2015.
The relative impunity with which the cat killer appears to have operated, has led to calls from celebrities for the murderer to be caught.
TV star Martin Clunes wrote to Scotland Yard urging officers do more to catch the so-called Cat Ripper of Croydon. The TV star said at least 35 cats are thought to have been mutilated in the south London borough, calling it the "stuff of nightmares". X Factor presenters Caroline Flack and Dermot O'Leary have also raised concerns.
Dr Adam Lynes, a lecturer in criminology at Birmingham City University, told the Sun: "To me, this looks like the work of a single disturbed individual. The fact that several bodies were found with heads and tails removed suggests that it's the same person behind the attacks.
He went on to warn that the cat killer could make the leap to attacking humans, if the killing spree continued unchecked.