Authorities are hunting for a culprit who poisoned a kitten who died in her owner’s arms.
The Scottish SPCA was alerted after the owner of Edgelaw Farm Livery near Gorebridge, Midlothian, found her eight month old cat named Bootes fitting and unable to walk.
An undercover inspector with the charity said: “The toxicology results showed residues of carbofuran in Bootes’ stomach contents and liver, indicating she had ingested the substance.
“Carbofuran is a highly toxic pesticide which is banned. A single grain the size of a poppy seed can be deadly to animals and a quarter teaspoon can be fatal to humans.
“Bootes’ owner is understandably devastated to have lost her pet at such a young age and under these dreadful circumstances.
“While this incident happened in December, we had to wait for the toxicology results to come back. Now that we know the poison was carbofuran we want to warn other cat owners in the area of the danger.
“Unfortunately our enquiries so far have not resulted in any leads so we are now appealing for information as to where the poison may have come from.”
Bootes’ owner, Hayley McEwan, said: “Bootes was a firm favourite on our small livery yard and touched many lives despite her young age.
“I found her while she was still alive and she died in my arms. I couldn’t do anything but wrap her up and cuddle her. By the time she was on the way to the vets she was already gone.
“Her brother Pavo still pines for her and he often lies in the spot where he and I found her. It was a matter of feet from our front door here in the farm.
“I’m still trying to come to terms with everything and find it hard to understand why this happened.”
Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.