AN animal lover is encouraging pet owners across South Derbyshire to remain vigilant after his family cat had to be put down after it drank antifreeze.
Richard Bonney, who lives in Amberwood, Newhall, took seven-year-old Simples (pictured) to the vet after she became lethargic and would not take on any food or water.
After spending £200 for her to undergo blood tests he was told she was likely to have been poisoned, and made the heartbreaking decision to have her put down.
He told the Mail: "The vet told us that she had developed kidney problems, which is also why we had to have our first cat, Squeak, put down. We were told she was likely to have been poisoned by antifreeze.
"We've lived here two-and-a-half years and this isn't the first time that it's happened, which begins to make you have suspicious thoughts. Our neighbour's cat also suffered similar symptoms but was younger than Simples and was able to recover."
Richard said he was now wary that the family's other cat, Kitty, could suffer the same fate and is reluctant to let her outside, but said she would often scratch at the door as she wanted to be let out.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: "If this turns out to be deliberate poisoning then we need to stress that it is illegal to cause an animal to suffer in this way, and anyone found guilty could face a maximum sentence of up to six months in prison and a £20,000 fine."