Horrified Villages looked on helplessly as two cats were killed when hounds ran amok in gardens on Christmas Eve.
Two households had their festive celebrations spoilt when their pets were slaughtered by hounds from the Cheshire Forest Hunt. Now residents in Peel Crescent, Ashton, are circulating a petition – to be presented to the parish council – calling for the hunt to be banned from the village. Eddisbury MP Mr. Alastair Goodlad and the Chester headquarters of the RSPCA have also been informed of the incident.
Mrs. Pamela Holland tried to protect her 15-year-old daughter Yvette from the ugly scene as a pack of dogs tore open the throat of their 12-year-old pet cat Jinny in their own garden.
Further along the road Mrs. Vera Pinnington had one of her pet cats killed by the marauding hounds. And her parents’ garden was badly damaged. According to another resident, Norman Malpeli, whose three pet cats escaped unharmed: “We fear that one of these days it will not be a cat that dies – it will be a young child. Many people in this crescent are retired and have toddler grandchildren visitors. We are concerned for their safety.”
Mr. Richard Holland said it was not the first time the dogs have invaded the village. Nor was it the first time cats had died, he claimed. “We were assured the hounds would not attack pet cats, but they were totally out of control. How can we be sure they would not attack children with the scent of a cat on them?”
Mr. Malpeli added he had hit the animals with a seven foot scaffolding plank to try to get them off the Hollands’ pet but it had no effect.
Three days after the incident Mr. Peter Hunter, master of the Cheshire Forest Hounds, visited Mr. and Mrs. Holland to apologise for the incident. He said he knew nothing of it until he read about it in a Sunday newspaper.
Mr. Hunter, of Oulton Park, boss of Hunter Seeds, of Canal Street, Chester, is away on holiday and not available for comment.
The hunt was on land belonging to farmer Richard Kinsey, of Peel Hall, Gongar Lane, who rode with them on Christmas Eve. He said he would take no action to ban the hunt from his land. “It was an isolated incident which anti-hunt people will use to their full advantage,” he said, adding he was sorry about the pet cat’s death.