A FAMILY said they have been left “devastated” after one of their pet cats was fatally poisoned.

Michelle Wheeler, who lives in Malton with her 16-year-old son Liam and eight-year-old daughter Liberty, said their hearts had been broken after the death of Duke.

The family’s other two cats, Duchess and O’Malley, have also been targeted in a series of incidents dating back to 2006.

Michelle said losing Duke was the “final straw” and they were now appealing for information and offering a reward for further information.

“We got Duke when he was a kitten and he was first poisoned when he was just 10 months old,” she said.

“When we took him to the vets he was suffering from hypothermia and poisoning, which we later found out was organic phosphate.”

Michelle said since then Duke had been poisoned a further three times, along with their other cats. She said they had managed to get Duke to the vet where he had previously been given an antidote, but on this occasion it was too late.

“She added: “This has broken our hearts and devastated our family – what sort of person could do this to a family pet?”

Michelle is now distributing leaflets and posters appealing for information and is also offering a £200 reward. They would particularly like to hear from anyone who saw Duke in the Peasey Hill area on Friday, February 21, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

RSPCA Inspector Lauren Bailey said:“It would appear that the cats are being sprayed with a farm chemical which poisons them.”

Phone police on 0300 1238018 and leave a message for Inspector Lauren Bailey.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the reward can contact Michelle’s Facebook page: Michelle Palmer Wheeler.