Co Antrim family left 'gutted' following deaths of three cats from suspected poisoning

Cherith Carmichael's sons, Taylor (9) and Joshua (8) with their pet cat, Mischa, just before she was put to sleep after falling ill as a result of suspected poisoning

A Co Antrim woman said her family has been left "gutted" after three of her rescue cats were put to asleep within a week of each other as a result of suspected poisoning.

Cherith Carmichael, from Ballyclare said her children had been left "inconsolable" after the deaths of Mischa, Lillie and Oscar.

The mother-of-three said she believed the cats had been poisoned around Saturday, November 3.

Ms Carmichael, who reported the trio of deaths to the PSNI, said she had been told the "most likely" cause of their deaths was "anti freeze but again we just don't know".

"When the first one was put to sleep...I let the boys go down to (the) vets to say goodbye. They were inconsolable," she said.

"I am just gutted. I love my animals, they were part of our family. The thought that someone could have done something so evil and cruel. I want to remain open-minded and think there has to be another reason.

"They have just taken away part of our family and three wee rescues, we have helped them to have a better life and this happens. It's just absolutely gutting for all of us".

A spokeswoman for Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council said its Animal Welfare Officers "are still investigating this matter to establish the facts and identify any offences under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

"As this is an ongoing investigation, the Council is not providing any further comments at this stage".

A PSNI spokeswoman said they had received a report about the deaths of cats in the Ballyclare area.

"This matter is being examined by the Council’s Animal Welfare officer," she said.

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