From the Wyatt family, Seaview:
I would like to warn people of the dangers posed to pets and wildlife through the careless use of anti-freeze.
Two weeks ago, we had a gorgeous eight-year-old ginger cat called Rufus, who was much loved and an integral part of our family.
We noticed one evening he was off his food and looked a little under the weather.
We took him to our local vet, fully expecting to come home with him and a few antibiotics. Sadly, he never did come home.
He was admitted to the animal hospital in Newport, where they discovered his kidneys had failed completely and his system was already shutting down. All this within hours.
We never expected to be saying our final goodbyes when we left home with him that morning.
His sudden death has left us heartbroken, as I’m sure any pet owner would understand.
But worse was to come as we learned the unnecessary cause of his painful and sudden demise was anti-freeze poisoning.
We then learned, to our horror, some people are putting it into their garden water features to stop them freezing up over the winter.
We are sure most people would never intentionally harm an animal and our research has revealed most people don’t realise the deadly danger it poses.
They may know it can make animals sick, but not that there is no antidote, and it has an attractive sweet taste which attracts animals.
Just one tablespoon would kill a medium sized dog, never mind a cat. Our garden birds are also at risk, as are any other visiting wildlife.
We need antifreeze to keep our vehicles going in cold weather, but please can I appeal to everyone to use it very carefully, clear up any spills and keep it secure and out of reach of animals and children. And please, never, ever use it in a water feature.
Surely the lives of ours and our neighbour’s pets are more important than the sight and sound of running water.
We don’t know where Rufus picked it up from, and we are not out to apportion blame, just to raise awareness so no-one else has to endure the heartbreak we have.