Several cats believed to have been poisoned in Pasco neighborhood

Ingesting antifreeze causes painful death

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. - Suzie Phillips loves her cats, even the strays she feeds.  That's why watching Sweet Pea die a very painful death was so hard.

"It just tore me apart. I mean she's my baby."

In a matter of minutes, the seemingly healthy cat got very sick.

"That was her a week ago, and this was her last night," said Phillips, showing two very different pictures.

Suzie believes several cats at the Sandlewood Mobile Home Park were poisoned by someone fed up with all the strays that live here.

She raced Sweet Pea, and another cat to the vet, but nothing could be done to save them.

"They were screaming, and all of a sudden they just went quiet, and I could hear vomiting," said Phillips.

There are a lot of stray cats in the mobile home park, but Suzie says the answer is spaying and neutering them, not poisoning them.

"That's not the way to handle things.  I know there are a lot of cats around here.  I know people complain about them.  But you don't go poisoning cats."

At least ten cats have died since Tuesday.  One neighbor buried four kittens Thursday.

Linda Edenfield says she's keeping a close eye on her cat, Nitro.  "I'm really afraid about it. Because I've had her a long time."

Dr. Sonja Olson saw three of the sick cats at Tampa's Blue Pearl animal hospital. She says they all had the same symptoms and were likely poisoned.  "The first one that comes to mind is anti-freeze. Unfortunately, it can cause symptoms very quickly in cats, 12 to 24 hours, they go down."

Suzie plans to file a report with Pasco County animal services.  They say poisoning cats is a criminal offense and they will investigate. Officials also say ingesting antifreeze causes a very painful death.

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