Slow-down call after fifth cat killed

South Dunedin resident Pat McKean is urging motorists to slow down, after her daughter's cat...
South Dunedin resident Pat McKean is urging motorists to slow down, after her daughter's cat Chilla was struck and killed by a car in Atkinson St. It was the fifth pet in Mrs McKean's care to meet an untimely death. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
A grieving South Dunedin cat-lover is urging motorists in her neighbourhood to slow down, after losing a fifth pet in her care in horrible circumstances.

Pat McKean said she was looking after the fluffy feline, named Chilla, for her daughter, who was in Christchurch, when disaster struck on Sunday afternoon.

A car believed to be speeding down Atkinson St struck the cat outside Mrs McKean's front door, fatally injuring it.

The driver of the white station wagon - believed to be a young male - shouted something and then drove off, leaving the cat to die in a neighbouring property.

Mrs McKean's son, who declined to be named, said he was getting out of another vehicle when he heard the bang.

``They just kept on driving. They knew they hit it.

``They yelled out something but I didn't really hear what it was,'' he said.

It was the fifth cat cared for by Mrs McKean to experience an untimely death, she said.

One had been attacked and killed by a possum, and another was among cats found hanging by wire from trees at Navy Park, in South Dunedin, in 2013, amid a spate of suspicious pet deaths.

Her neighbours around Atkinson St had also had pets struck by cars recently. One had been hit by a car travelling fast enough to fling its dead body through the air and into a neighbouring garden, she said.

Chilla was ``another statistic'' for the neighbourhood, but she also worried about the safety of children in the area riding bikes and skateboards without helmets.

She wanted police to enforce speed limits in the area, or for the council to consider adding speed humps, to slow motorists down.

``There's just too many people killing cats.''

DCC transport safety team leader Hjarne Poulsen said the council staff were ``sorry to hear about this distressing incident''.

Enforcement was a police matter, but the council would consider traffic calming measures if police confirmed a speeding issue, he said.

``Atkinson St is controlled by a stop sign at each end to help reduce speeds, but we're aware of some concerns about traffic speeds in this area and encourage people to drive responsibly, particularly in residential streets.''

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