Pet detective! Father pays private sleuth £10k to investigate daughter’s slain kitten

Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko
A British father who spent over £10,000 in an attempt to find the man who shot his daughter’s cat said he was unable to catch the culprit because police were “impotent.”

The dad, a wealthy retired businessman, claims to have done “80 percent of the police’s job for them” and just wants the authorities to knock on the criminal’s door.

Niel Tregarthen has spent six months attempting to track down the person who shot his daughter Aylish’s cat with an air rifle in September.

Although gravely wounded, the 14-month-old cat, named Farah, managed to crawl home. Tragically, she later died from internal bleeding and septicemia, despite the vet’s best efforts, and £3,500 worth of emergency fees.

Tregarthen, from Truro, Cornwall, hired a private detective to investigate the shooting, after Aylish, a 24-year-old medical student was left heartbroken.

She said: “There is no deterrent to stop people doing it again. No one is being held to account and they are being allowed to continue doing this.

“I have other cats, but I won’t let them out of the house in case this happens again.”

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Her father said: “I would never advocate vigilante-style behavior, but it is clear that society is fed up to the back teeth with anti-social behavior, bullying and downright thuggery that the police forces in this country [are now] either powerless or unmotivated to investigate and prosecute.

“I understand budget cuts and I understand the difficulties the police have doing their job. But when a job has been 80 percent done for them, all I want them to do is exercise their right to knock on the suspect's front door and interview him under caution,” he said.

He further condemned police action, calling them “impotent.

“I cannot confront him because it would prejudice the police inquiry. The police were totally impotent to do anything to help us. Using an air rifle to shoot cats is illegal and it should be treated as such.

“People who shoot and hurt animals will go onto hurt human beings if they get away it – that cannot be right.”

The private investigation firm has reportedly identified four possible suspects.

Focus Investigations, which led the inquiry, said the person responsible had an “obvious sociopathic nature.

“We found a witness who claimed that he had witnessed our main suspect shooting another cat and who stated that he was willing to give a statement to this effect,” they said.

The police, however, said Tregarthen’s investigation had produced only speculation. Neighborhood beat manager Steve Parsons said the crime had been investigated.

We investigated this crime fully. I have examined Mr Tregarthen's report and it is packed with rumor and speculation, not evidence,” he said.