Young thugs are capturing cats and using them as bait for hunting dogs in North Lurgan.
For the past month teenagers and young men have been spotted caging feral and house cats and kittens to use as bait.
One resident of Kilwilkie said she was ‘disgusted and outraged’ at the cruelty to the tiny animals.
And despite contacting the Animal Welfare Officer nothing has been done to bring the cruelty to an end, she told the ‘MAIL’.
“Young adults are taking these poor animals and trapping them, especially at the alley way at the houses of Kilwilkie Road,” she said adding that at least nine cats have gone missing in recent weeks.
She said that these lads are transporting the cats to fields near Belvedere, letting them loose and setting their dogs on them.
“I live there myself and try to look after stray and unwanted cats but once again they are all going missing as are other neighbours’ cats at the hands of these people.
“I have witnessed them releasing two of their dogs on a cat that I had been trying to look after.
“When I confronted these people regarding this I in return had something set on fire outside my front door during the night,” said the mum-of-two, who is too terrified to be named.
“I have a broken back door window, my back door has been urinated over and I am taunted by some of them.
“I live alone with two children and they have me living in fear at night of what they could do to my house and what they will do to these helpless animals.
“I have contacted the Animal Welfare Officer who tells me that there is not a lot they can do without proof.
“This is causing great distress to myself and my children.
“I have spoken to others whose cats have gone missing. One of whom witnessed her cat being trapped by a neighbour and she ended up getting a warning from the police for entering another’s garden to rescue her own cat.
She also hit out at local authorities for a lack of action in tackling this emotive issue.
“It is shocking trying to get help for this matter.
“What these people are doing is disgusting and they know they can get away with it.
“Confronting them leads to someone like me living in fear of them,” she said.
“It’s disgraceful behaviour,” she said. “Because it is Kilwilkie they don’t want to come out and are quite happy to sit back and leave them to it.”
A council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the Animal Welfare Service has received a complaint in relation to the Kilwilkie area of Lurgan in respect of cats going missing with the allegation that someone in the area is trapping them in their garden and killing them.
“The investigation is still ongoing but in this case unless there is first hand evidence to prove that an individual is undertaking such activity then it may be difficult to take any further action.
“The Animal Welfare Service is committed to investigating all complaints concerning animal welfare such as this and takes such complaints very seriously.
“We will therefore work in partnership with the PSNI to try to bring an end to such activity.
“We would ask that anyone with evidence in relation to those involved and who are willing to make a statement should contact us on 3751 5800.”