Young girl loses best friend after suspected cat poisoning

Anara has autism and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and has had Holly since she was 1. Photo...
Anara has autism and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and has had Holly since she was 1. Photo: Supplied
A Kiwi mother who says her daughter's cat was deliberately poisoned is urging people to think twice about how they treat animals.

Ten-year-old Anara had to make the heart-breaking decision to put down her beloved cat Holly, after she ingested antifreeze laced meat.

Holly was not just any cat, she was Anara's favourite "person" in the world.

Anara, of Hamilton, has autism and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). She's had Holly since she was 1.

Anara's mother Amy says Holly was deliberately poisoned and had a piece of meat Holly threw up...
Anara's mother Amy says Holly was deliberately poisoned and had a piece of meat Holly threw up tested. Photo: Supplied via NZH
Insomnia keeps Anara awake for up to eight hours a night, but Holly would be there to keep her company.

Anara's mother Amy says Holly was deliberately poisoned and had a piece of meat Holly threw up tested.

It was full of antifreeze, she says.

Antifreeze is an engine coolant that is palatable but toxic to pets.

Anara had to make the heart-breaking decision to put down her beloved cat Holly, after she...
Anara had to make the heart-breaking decision to put down her beloved cat Holly, after she ingested antifreeze-laced meat. Photo: Supplied via NZH
Anara is not sleeping at all, says Amy.

"Holly has been in her arms every night. It's just not okay."

Anara doesn't want anyone else to feel how she feels, says Amy.

"Someone doesn't realise what impact they're having on them. This will be life-long for her," says Amy.

The family has lost five cats in the last few months to suspected poisonings, says Amy.

"This is not the first time for us. We have lost everything," she says.

Anara had to make the heart-breaking decision to put down her beloved cat Holly, after she...
Anara had to make the heart-breaking decision to put down her beloved cat Holly, after she ingested antifreeze-laced meat. Photo: Supplied via NZH
Amy's family are all animal people. Amy's children consider their cats "sons and daughters" their "babies".

"Our family is autistic. The girls don't relate to people. [The cats] are not animals to them, they are people. They both say "I'm Holly's mum". They might annoy someone, but they're not just animals to these guys," says Amy.

The family won't have cats again out of fear the poisonings will continue, says Amy.

"That is what has upset them the most, because they're cat people. My daughter's nickname is cat. She's been called cat since she was quite little because since she got Holly she's pretended to be a cat."

CareVets Chartwell's Dr Thomas Wanden says he has never seen anything like the family's five cat deaths before.

His last "highly likely" antifreeze poisoning case was in 2010.

The working diagnosis he gave Holly was ethylene glycol toxicity.

"I was actually the third vet to see Holly. She was first presented to the after-hours clinic, then transferred to our clinic in the weekend and I saw her on Monday morning."

While there is no way to be totally sure a pet has been poisoned with antifreeze without a necropsy, Holly's blood test abnormalities and symptoms common with acute renal failure, which is a result of toxicity, led to the diagnosis, he says.

SPCA general manager inspectorate Tracy Phillips says the incident is really sad and "sick".

"It might be someone living in the neighbourhood who has poisoned cats that wander on to their property," she says.

Deliberate poisonings are quite rare, she says.

"It's pretty sick that someone is doing this to someone's pet. I'm really sorry for this girl."

The family has set up a Givealittle page to recoup costs for Holly's vet bills.

 

 

 

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