A devastated cat owner whose prized pet was stolen fears the animal may have been taken to be used as bait in an illegal blood sport.
Karl Horsfield says 10 cats have gone missing from the Bessacarr area in the last few weeks and is now speaking out to warn other owners.
Mr Horsfield, of Howden Close, Bessacarr, fears his cat Mr Jinx and others are being used for ‘cat coursing’ – where the animals are barbarically killed by fighting dogs.
He said: “I feel absolutely sick about it – I’m worried he has been taken to be used as bait in a dog fight.
“So many cats have gone from the area in the last few weeks, there’s been about 10, I’m worried they have been taken to be used as bait.
“It seems too much of a coincidence for so many to go missing in such a short space of time.”
Mr Horsfield said his neighbour saw Mr Jinx being bundled into the boot of a taxi at around 3.30am on Sunday, July 24.
He said: “My neighbour heard a noise and looked outside and said she saw a woman get out of a brown saloon taxi, grab Mr Jinx and throw him into the boot of the taxi.
“There was a man in the taxi who was shouting ‘Just get the cat’ and then they drove off down Stoops Lane.
“I’ve been hunting high and low for Mr Jinx and putting posters up everywhere but I haven’t heard anything.”
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said the incident had been reported.
The spokesman added: “Police received a report of theft from a member of the public, called in at around 8.35am on July 24.
“The member of the public reported seeing an unknown person get into a vehicle with a cat on Stoops Lane, Bessacarr.”
Mr Horsfield said his neighbour described the woman as being around 5ft 5ins, slim, with dark straight hair.
The man in the taxi had a bald head with bushy hair at the sides.
Anyone with information should call police on 101.