Owner of two poisoned cats tracked down the criminal

NEWS AND COMMENT - BARGOED, WALES, UK: This is not an untypical story of cat poisoning. It happens all over the world a lot of the time but what I like about this story is that the owner tracked down the criminal who did it. This is quite an unusual outcome because cat poisoners can do their nasty deed in secrecy and it is very hard normally to find the evidence to successfully prosecute these criminals. What were the police doing? Nothing I expect.

Owner of two poisoned cats tracked down the criminal
Owner of two poisoned cats tracked down the criminal. On the left: Ethylene glycol and on the right the laced tuna as found by the cats' owner in the backyard of the poisoner and criminal. Photo: PA.

Tristian Paul Pearson, 44, was the criminal. He poisoned his neighbour's cats Luna and Bailey who were owned by a father and daughter two houses down from Pearson.

Pearson laced tuna with ethylene glycol and in an act of extreme carelessness (thankfully) he left containers of ethylene glycol and of poisoned tuna in his backyard.

When the cats' owners investigated the crime, they peered into Pearson's backyard and spotted the two pots one of which contained a bright blue liquid and the other appeared to have tuna in it which had been laced with this bright blue liquid.

The owner appears to have been able to grab both pots and passed them to the RSPCA who carried out toxicology tests on them and found that the blue liquid was ethylene glycol which is highly toxic to cats and the tuna was laced with the chemical.

The veterinarian said that ethylene glycol poisoning causes a cat to suffer from extreme dehydration causing headaches, nausea, disorientation, weakness and collapse.

One of the cats appears to have been a purebred Persian (Bailey). He arrived home weak and wobbly on his legs. Luna suffered from the same symptoms in addition to kidney failure. Bailey died before he could be taken to a veterinarian while Luna was euthanised.

Pearson was convicted after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and his eight-month prison sentence was suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from keeping all animals for a period of five years. He was also ordered to pay £2000 in costs.

The RSPCA inspector Simon Evans said:

These poor cats were deliberately tempted into digesting a substance that is incredibly dangerous for cats and ultimately proved fatal to them both. The two dishes found in the defendant’s garden contained a high concentration of the dangerous substance – and he admitted in court that he caused them to consume it, causing them to suffer unnecessarily. We hope this shocking, landmark case sends a clear message to anyone thinking of targeting cats in this way – this is wrong, illegal and will not be tolerated.”

The case is interesting in another way in that it may be the first case to be referred to the Crown Court following the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 which came into force last year. This act increased the maximum sentence that could be imposed on offenders of animal abuse and cruelty from six months to 5 years.


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