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18 September 2020

SNARL

It's been a frantic 5 years. Sadly I've examined probably over a thousand mutilated animals many of them victims. I've done countless press interviews and been on TV on numerous occasions and there's the Vice documentary too. I have counselled and supported hundreds of victim owners and travelled up and down the country in pursuit of this evil killer.

To say it's been heartbreaking would be an understatement. I wonder how I'm still alive.

Sadly, almost two years ago to the day, the Metropolitan Police closed their investigation and the RSPCA quickly followed suit leaving SNARL as the only investigation team. About 18 months ago Boudicca ended our relationship then subsequently resigned from SNARL taking two team members with her. Since then five other team members have resigned for various reasons. I can understand because this case is heartbreaking and some just couldn't take it any more.

That leaves just three of us. I will be eternally grateful for the other two who have pretty much kept things going over the last year whilst I have battled with my mental health and depression.

However I feel we have reached a crossroads. I have dedicated 5 years of my life and in all truth we are no closer to finding this killer. We are all emotionally exhausted.

More to the point I am basically bankrupt. Over the past months numerous people have cancelled their small monthly donations this Covid pandemic has been tough on us all. It has however postponed eviction proceedings against me.

So. A sensible person would probably draw the line on this investigation, try to get a paid job and save the home that is currently sanctuary to 16 cats and two dogs all rescued animals. However I can't give it up having made promises to most of the owners that I would continue until this killer is caught and brought to justice. I cannot let him win the killings have to stop!

I hate asking but to carry on I'm going to need some serious financial help. Over 30,000 people follow the page. If only 1,000 people were able to donate just £3 per month that would be enough to cover all my expenses and help dig me out of debt. I realise this is a huge ask in these difficult times but I cannot see any other way forward. If I get any where near this target I will register as a charity so the trolls and naysayers can do one.

Either way I would to thank from the bottom of my heart each and every person who has helped this investigation over the years. Bless you all.

A Day in the Life of Animal Rescue

After a round trip of 475 miles stretching over 15 hours I finally arrived home at 1.30am with my mission accomplished.

Millie and Baggins, two lovely 17 year old cats had been abandoned at a vets in Eastbourne by their owner following a divorce. One had suspected renal failure and the other a tumour so their lifespan is limited. Rather than have them put to sleep we networked them on this page and were fortunate to find them a home with a lovely man called Peter who lives near Stafford with his partner. My mission was to pick them up from Eastbourne and take them to Peter’s.

After feeding and cleaning up my own menagerie I left home about 10am to head to Eastbourne. I was delayed at the garage waiting whilst some idiot tried in vain to pump up the tyres on their car. I sorted it out for them and once happy with the tyre pressures on my car I set off. My journey was not without its hiccups. About fifteen miles from Eastbourne my car Boobie suffered an engine malfunction and stopped working. I managed to cruise to a layby, pulled over and turned the engine off. After several expletives I calmed myself down with a cup of coffee and a fag. I then gently explained to Boobie that we had an important mission and that she couldn’t let me down now. She didn’t . She started up and I set off with some concern wondering whether I’d make it.

I duly arrived at the vets sometime after midday. The vet and staff were pleased to see me and seemed very nice and caring having looked after the cats for a couple of weeks, in particular Jon, who first alerted us to the plight of Millie and Baggins. As it turned out we had briefly met before as we have a mutual interest in a particular weekend pursuit.

I had taken my dog cage so that the cats could travel together. I had liberally sprinkled the blankets with cat nip and valerian. It worked a treat. Within a few minutes they were both rolling around in the cage and quickly settled down not knowing that a long journey was ahead. We loaded them into Boobie’s hatch and I set off again hoping that Boobie would be OK.

A few miles out of Eastbourne I spotted a hitchhiker, something I haven’t seen for years. I used to hitchhike in my younger days and always vowed to return the favours I had received when I was able to but had never seen anyone. Naturally I pulled over and in jumped a rather pleasant if slightly eccentric older man whose name also happened to Peter. We had a good chat and I dropped him off happy and appreciative in East Grinstead. I took the opportunity to have a bit of lunch – a portion of chips with gravy from a really nice chip shop. I also put some food and water in the cage for the cats who were still sleeping.

As we approached the M25 on the A22 Boobie was running fine so I decided to take the chance of continuing the journey rather than heading back to London and keeping the cats at mine for a few days whilst I got Boobie checked out in the garage. I therefore took the M25 round to the M40 and headed towards Birmingham. Apart from a quick piss stop it seemed I made good progress. However when I hit the M6 I got stuck in a long traffic jam. There had been an accident just past Junction 15 and traffic was backed up to Junction 13. I needed to come off at Junction 14 so spent well over an hour in a jam with only the radio to keep me company. The cats had been brilliant, no howling or anything they were so quiet and chilled I almost forgot they were there!

I finally arrived at Peter’s shortly after 7pm where I received a warm welcome. We got the cage in and settled it in the living room, the cats still chilled out. Peter made me a quick coffee then left me for half an hour whilst he drove his partner to work. I had a relaxing half an hour watching Eastenders and meeting his dogs and 2 of the cats. I left the cats in the cage as they were still chilled and I wanted them to have a bit of time to acclimatise. They were warmly greeted by Scamp, Peter’s lovely 16 year old three-legged dog.

When Peter returned he coaxed Millie and Baggins out of the cage with Dreamies. Another favourite trick! Within a short space of time they settled down on the sofa (see photos.) Peter’s other cats treated them with respect. It seemed to me that their transition into a new home happened almost instantaneously. After a lovely dinner, more coffee and a nice chat I decided it was time to hit the road again. Peter had kindly offered me a bed for the night but I decided a late night drive home would be easier than trying to get back during the day. I left around 10pm safe and confident in the knowledge that Millie and Baggins were in good hands for the rest of whatever life they have left in a lovely animal-centred home where they will undoubtedly receive lots of love and attention. Thank you so much Peter for taking these guys on you are a star.

My journey home was not as easy as I thought it would be. I joined the M6 at Junction 14 and almost immediately ran into a traffic jam. I waited whilst three lanes filtered into one and then a diversion took us off the M6 at Junction 13. The southbound part of the M6 had just been closed between 13 and 12 for essential roadworks. The diversion took us all around the houses where we eventually rejoined at Junction 12. I took the opportunity to pull over at a non-service station garage to fill Boobie up with diesel. As I left a van driver kindly flashed his lights to let me out into the long trail of slow moving diverted traffic. The driver then proceeded to flash at me for a mile or two until I pulled over into a layby wondering what was wrong. As the van passed me the passenger had his head out of the window and shouted to me. All I heard was ‘open’ and ‘roof.’ When I got out to check I realised that I had not only left the fuel filler door open but I had also left the fuel cap on the roof of Boobie!

The rest of the journey home was fast and uneventful and for me fueled by a can of Monster energy drink to keep me awake. I finally arrived home at 1.30am to be greeted by one of my fox cubs standing outside my front gate. Boudicca had earlier texted me to say she had forgotten to feed the foxes when she was at mine to feed the cats. My cub was no doubt registering a late night protest and quickly turned up in the garden with his two siblings when I put their food out.

Still a bit wired from the energy drink I sat down and opened the bottle of wine that Boudicca had kindly left for me. I soon retired to bed with the bottle and watched a bit of Star Trek TNG before falling asleep feeling that it had been a good day.

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