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Up to 20 cats possibly poisoned in Cilgerran

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Mr Mistoffelees: Katina Andreou’s cat

AN URGENT appeal for information has been launched by RSPCA Cymru following fears of up to 20 possible cat poisonings in a Pembrokeshire village.

The charity is investigating, after two Cilgerran cats were put to sleep at Priory Vets in Cardigan, having been found to have acute kidney failure – which vets believed to be a consequence of poisoning.

A third cat died at the veterinary practice the previous weekend, exhibiting similar symptoms.

Worryingly the death of the three cats follows reports of a number of local cats going missing in recent months.

The circumstances behind the recent poisonings, and the missing cats, is unclear – and RSPCA Cymru is urging anyone with relevant information to contact the charity’s inspectorate appeal line.

RSPCA Cymru is also urging local cat owners to be vigilant, and understand the symptoms of a poisoning incident, and what to do if this happens to their cat.

Holly Brown, RSPCA inspector, said: “It isn’t clear whether these poisonings were deliberate, or a tragic accident, but we are deeply saddened to learn of the three cats who have recently died in Cilgerran.

“Anyone with any pertinent information is urged to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018, with all calls treated in confidence.

“We’d also remind local cat owners as to the importance of acting with vigilance at this time.

“If a poisoning is suspected, it’s important the owner remains calm, moves the animal away from any suspected source of poison, and contacts a vet straight away.”

One Cilgerran resident, Katina Andreou, had not seen her black and white cat Mr. Mistoffelees since June 16. He was found dead on the evening of June 29. Her research has uncovered numerous local cats to the Cilgerran area who have gone missing, and not returned.

Ms Andreou said: “I was finding that I seemed to always be sharing missing cat posts from the Cilgerran area. We’re a small village, and it seemed unusual to see so many posts about cats that had gone missing.

“Sadly, one of our cats – Mr. Mistoffelees – went missing on June 16, and was found dead on the evening of June 29. We’re speaking to vets to see if we can find out what happened to him.

“These poisoning incidents, and the missing cats, are all from properties within a 10-minute walking radius.

“There could be an innocent explanation for why the recent poisoning events happened, but I’m really eager to work with RSPCA Cymru and other agencies to raise awareness.

“We’re also asking local people to check their garages or consider ways a poisonous substance could accidentally be consumed by a pet.”

Should you wish to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting LOVE to 87023 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

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Communities and staff thanked for flood support

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COMMUNITIES and staff have been thanked for their work during the Storm Callum Floods. The October floods caused great damage to homes, businesses, roads and bridges in the south of Ceredigion. The floods were the biggest flood event in the last 31 years in Ceredigion.

During the flooding, the council supported the emergency services to prioritise the saving of lives. This included making sure that roads and bridges made dangerous by floodwater were closed. The council’s emergency response and recovery procedures were carried out during the event. Multi-agency emergency procedures were also carried out.

Ceredigion County Council Chief Executive, Mr Eifion Evans said, “Council staff went above and beyond their duties over the weekend of the floods. I saw their efforts with my own eyes; staff who weren’t on duty were offering to come in to help our residents. We had to send some staff home as they wanted to work longer than the 12 hour maximum that staff are allowed to work in one shift.

I have also been impressed by the huge efforts made by communities to help each other during, and in the aftermath of the flooding.”

After water levels dropped, council staff from Community Wellbeing, Housing and Highways Teams immediately went to the affected areas to offer practical support and advice. They also saw the extent of the damage that had been caused.

Everyone who has been in touch with the council has been offered help with housing, including being offered emergency temporary accommodation where needed. The Housing Team have worked with local landlords and B&B owners to provide additional accommodation, and to provide ongoing support for people who have been affected by the flood.

The Community Wellbeing Team have also provided advice and specialist equipment to residents to help to begin to dry out their homes. This support is ongoing.

The council organised drop-in sessions in Lampeter, Newcastle Emlyn, Llandysul and Llechryd. The sessions were attended by many organisations that can offer support and advice. The sessions gave residents the chance to ask the organisations any questions they had about recovering from the flood.

The Highways Team have arranged a free service to pick-up and dispose of flood damaged materials and have put skips in local household waste sites for flood damaged possessions. The team also cleared 100 tons of earth from the B4459 near Capel Dewi after a landslide covered the road. The Highways Team also repaired damaged roads and bridges.

Mr Evans continued, “The council is dedicated to helping our residents recover from the devastating effects of the recent floods. I understand that the impact is still very raw for people who have been affected, especially those who have been made homeless. I want to reassure every resident that our committed staff are working hard to help you. Despite severe pressure on council budgets, we will do everything in our power to continue to offer practical help to residents.”

A flood recovery group has met regularly to look at how the Council can target help in the most effective way. A further flood newsletter will be published in the near future. The Council will also be hosting flood advice surgeries and building on the work of developing emergency support groups for flooding.

More information about the help the council can offer is available on the website on www.ceredigion.gov.uk/stormcallumfloods

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Training company enjoy successful open evening

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HYFFORDDIANT CEREDIGION TRAINING (HCT) enjoyed a successful open evening on November 7 as it opened its doors to the public.

Opening HCT’s doors gave people the opportunity to see the fantastic range of training opportunities available for them. This included opportunities for young people who are interested in seeing what apprenticeships HCT has to offer.

Mark Gleeson, Manager for Post 14 Vocational Learning said, “It is important that HCT holds open evenings to showcase different learning opportunities that are available to all learners. HCT offers a large number of apprenticeships which ensures that the next generation of skilled workforce is being trained and employed by local companies. This is very important to the economy of Ceredigion.”

There was an opportunity to have a tour of the building, to speak to tutors, to have a look at the workshops, and to see trainees and apprentices in action. This gave a flavour of the kind of work that is done daily at the training centre.

Traineeships and apprenticeships, but also evening classes, are taught at HCT, as Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Service and Lifelong Learning explains, “If studying towards a full qualification in a given trade is not what you are after, but you want to gain some of the basic skills in the various routes HCT specialises in, why not join an evening class? The next round of evening courses are beginning now. So, what are you waiting for? Contact HCT to see what it has to offer you.”

Evening classes run for six weeks and HCT offers these 2-3 times per year. HCT offers a range of vocational courses for people of all ages, including Hairdressing, Childcare, Business Administration, Information Technology, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrics, Blacksmithing, Agriculture, Motor Mechanics and Welding.

For more information, find ‘Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training’ on Facebook, or visit the website, http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/public-it/hct/index.html

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Vandalism at coastguard lookout point

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POLICE are investigating vandalism at the old coastguard lookout point at Bird’s Rock.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re very sad to see vandalism to the old coastguard look out at Bird’s Rock on the coastal path a mile to the west of New Quay last week.

“All five windows was smashed – some even had their wooden frames ripped out.”

Melanie Heath, Ceredigion County Council’s Marine Protected Area Officer, added: “This act of vandalism is so distressing to see. The look-out was restored thanks to a special grant from the Crown Estate. It is used by our Dolphin and Porpoise Watch volunteers throughout the monitoring season. It is also a special place for many local people and visitors alike to sit for a while and take in the spectacular views of Cardigan Bay.”

If anyone has any information, contact Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police on 101

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