Reward for capture of Croydon 'cat killer' increased to £5,000

Pressure on police to run human DNA tests on the dead cats

A reward to capture a suspected cat killer has been more than doubled to £5,000 after more animals have been found apparently mutilated.

Up to 32 cats are thought to have fallen victim to serial feline murderer in south London who is believed to be removing their heads and tails, according to the Croydon Advertiser.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offered £2,000 for anyone with details of the "cat ripper of Croydon" in December, but the group has now increased that figure to £5,000.

Elisa Allen, associate director at Peta, said the culprit of the "sadistic and violent acts" must be caught for everyone's safety.

"Animal abusers are a danger to everyone - they take their issues out on whoever is available to them, human or non-human, and must be caught before they act again," she told the Croydon Advertiser.

Thornlaw Road in West Norwood in London, where one of the more than 30 mutilated cats was found in November 2015

More than 30 cats are thought to have been attacked by at least one culprit.

The South Norwood Animal Rights and Liberty Group (SNARL) have recorded many of the locations, names and states at death of various cats in the south London borough.

Many were found with no head or tail, or with their stomachs slit open. Some incidents first occurred two years ago.

Both a demonstration and a petition signed by 30,000 people urged the local police to investigate the case seriously - particularly to run DNA tests on cats who may have scratched their attacker.

Police have since joined the search and appealed for information after a couple found the remains of a decapitated cat in the run-up to Christmas.

Sergeant Ross Spanton, from the Reigate and Banstead Safer Neighbourhood team, said it was a "horrifying" case.

"This is a disgusting and horrifiying incident which has understandably left the family extremely distressed as well as being upsetting for the couple who discovered the animal's remains," he told the Croydon Advertiser.

Animal cruelty was increasingly on the rise, and disturbingly inventive, the RSPCA warned in a report last year, with dogs and then cats most likely to be abused.

Yet the number of convictions of animal abusers in the same period had fallen, said the report.