EL PASO, Texas -- Residents in a central El Paso neighborhood claim that stray cats in their area are becoming very sick and are dying, and some allege that a passerby is poisoning the animals.
Residents say at one point there used to be 80 stray cats roaming the neighborhood, now only few remain.
Resident Ricardo Leon called the situation a “nightmare and chaotic.”
Leon explained, “It’s been going on for several days now. Everyday I am picking up cats that are dead - 3, 4, 5 cats at a time.”
He tells ABC-7 that he has noticed a change in the neighborhood cats for the past month as they went from being healthy creatures to sickly animals.
Leon said it has been very painful for him seeing the cats in their current condition.
“It's a very painful experience. The way when you see them, the way you drag yourself, you see the way that they are asking for help, but they are defenseless cats. It just hurts when you see them, and this has been going on for quite a while,” Leon said.
Leon alleges that the passerby has been targeting the cats with rat poison- leading to their decline.
Leon said that he has reached out to the El Paso Police Department and Animal Services with his claims.
An El Paso Animal Services spokesperson said there is an ongoing investigation by EPPD's Animal Cruelty Unit and Animal Services into the case, but declined to provide any further details.
They spokesperson said to expect more details from this case to be revealed in the coming days.