AN EPIDEMIC of feline disappearances has seen six cats go missing in the Meiklemill area over the past couple of months, the Times can reveal.
A number of missing cat enquiries have been made to the Ellon Times, with other desperate owners seeking information on public notices throughout the town for their pets.
Pet owner Melissa McHardy, who works at the Scotscoup betting office on Bridge Street, said that her own cat, Jack, went missing five weeks ago, and had not returned home since. She suspects foul play.
“He’s a four year old, street-wise tom cat,” she said. “If he could, he would have come home by now - it’s completely out of character for him. He’s one of six missing cats I know of in the Meiklemill area that have disappeared just recently.
“That’s very odd, and there’s something very suspicious about it. It’s an abnormally high number for one small area of the town. I think someone is taking them.”
The Times contacted the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals, and spoke to an operator who had just finished dealing with an owner seeking a missing 18-month old kitten in Meiklemill. However, the society said that they were unaware of any particular reason why cats in Ellon might have been going missing with such frequency.
The Times also contacted Aberdeenshire Council’s Environmental Health service to find out if they had retrieved any cats which might have died on the roads recently in case the disappearances were related to road accidents. A spokeswoman for the council told us that the department had not reported any deceased cats on roads in the Ellon area recently.
A spokeswoman for Grampian Police said that local police had been made aware of the missing cat problem.
The disappearances come amid concerns about illegal dog fighting rings in the north-east of Scotland, which reportedly use cats and other pets as ‘live bait’ for dangerous dogs.
The cats are allegedly placed with a fighting dog, which works itself into a frenzy killing the cat, putting it in the ‘correct’ frame of mind to tackle another fighting dog.
Last March, the Times reported on a Staffordshire bull terrier which was found bludgeoned to death in a lay-by on the A981 near New Deer. An investigation by the SSPCA indicated that the animal had been killed and dumped by dog-fighting organisers. More recently, brothers Colin and David Reid, from Banff, were jailed last month following their conviction for illegal dog fighting.