A FAMILY cat was killed outside its home after reportedly being punched to death by one or more youths in Poole.

Clark the cat was found dead with blood coming from its mouth near its home by Newton Conservative Club in Ringwood Road on the evening of Saturday, July 30, leaving its owners “devastated”.

Niki Carter and her husband had taken their children for ice cream and returned home shortly before 10.15pm. However she said her “heart dropped” when she saw a bundle on the pavement she recognised to be her cat.

She told the Echo: “As we turned to park I saw something on the ground and my heart instantly dropped as somehow I just knew it was Clark.

Bournemouth Echo: Ringwood Road in PooleRingwood Road in Poole

“I said to my husband ‘what the hell is that’ and we both legged it over and saw it was him. We picked him up and he was just lifeless. We would have taken him to the vets if we thought there was any chance he would survive.

“He had blood coming out of his mouth.”

The family quickly logged onto their CCTV system to see if they could understand what happened to their five-and-a-half-year-old cat.

While the camera’s position meant the incident was not caught on film, some audio was picked up which seemingly shed an awful light on events. According to Niki, at least three youths (likely two males and one female) can be heard on the recording referencing one of them “punching a cat”.

Bournemouth Echo: Clark, a cat killed in Ringwood Road, Poole. Picture: The Carter familyClark, a cat killed in Ringwood Road, Poole. Picture: The Carter family

Niki added: “It was all a bit muffled but you can then hear one of them say something like ‘I don’t ******* care, it’s not my cat’, and another said ‘I think it’s still alive’ and some laughing.

“That was shortly after 10pm so we missed them by around six or seven minutes.”

Shortly after alerting police and the RSPCA, a horrified Niki soon took to social media to urge anyone with information or relevant CCTV footage to come forward.

“We’re devastated,” she said. “Clark was part of the family and was a big cuddly bear. He just wanted to snuggle everyone and was so friendly. That’s what makes it worse, it was so mindless.

Bournemouth Echo: Ringwood Road in PooleRingwood Road in Poole

“I can’t get my head around it and trying to explain to my granddaughter why he isn’t around anymore is heart-breaking.

“We’re very grateful for the response we’ve had. Hopefully, if people who know something come forward we can stop something like this from happening again as it really is the most awful thing to go through.”

The cat’s body will soon undergo an x-ray to determine its cause of death before being cremated.

The RSPCA said: “We've been made aware of the sad death of a cat in Poole on 30 July and are looking into the incident. Anyone with information should contact our appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: “[We] received a report at 11.25pm on Saturday 30 July that a cat had been found dead in the garden of an address in Ringwood Road in Poole. It is reported that the cat was assaulted at around 10pm. Enquiries are ongoing into the incident. No arrests have been made.”