‘Foxes didn’t kill my cat - dogs and humans are to blame’

The owner of a cat supposedly killed by foxes in Queen’s Park says the urban pests were not to blame for the death and the culprits were actually dogs and their owners.

A graphic image of the dead cat, named Uze, was circulated in February by residents desperate for action to be taken against the urban fox in north Westminster.

Residents were convinced that foxes were to blame after the cat’s body was found with part of its leg and throat missing in an alleyway by a children’s playground off Ashmore Road.

But the cat’s owner Veronika Damiani, 42, believes the finger of blame has been pointed at the wrong animal and that fighting dogs and their owners are to blame.

“I only found out about the foxes being blamed last week,” said the Riverton Close resident.

“I don’t believe in a million years that it was foxes. There are always foxes about and she was a very fast cat.

“Foxes don’t tend to go for cats because they are so overfed on scraps. Only two weeks ago there was an injured crow around the area that couldn’t fly. Why did the foxes not touch that?

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“There must have been dogs and there must have been humans involved to trap the cat.”

Ms Damiani, who has avoided looking at the graphic photo of her dead pet’s body, said there has been a long-standing problem with fighting dogs in the alleyway where the eight-year-old cat was found.

“I have witnessed dogs fighting there before and I have seen people setting dogs on cats,” she said.

“People train dogs there and they bang chains against the fence to make the dogs more aggressive.

“My neighbour’s cat was mauled by dogs and their son witnessed it.

“Even though, thankfully, I didn’t see her [Uze] or that picture of her dead, the image still haunts me.

“Every time I do see people with their dogs by the playground I always wonder if it could have been them.”

Although she believes foxes are not to blame for Uze’s death, Ms Damiani admits the creatures cause a “nuisance” in the area by tearing through rubbish bins.

A petition was created in March calling on Westminster Council to “protect residents, their children and pets from foxes”.

The council says it has no responsibility for implementing fox controls as they are not recognised as pests.