Multiple dead cats have been found in a social club car park after a van driver was spotted tossing black bin bags into nearby undergrowth.
The bodies of five cats – some possibly stolen pets and one thought to have been pregnant – were found outside Carr Lane Sports and Social Club in Grimsby over several days this week.
And there are fears there could be more close by due to a foul smell.
Resident Donna Paton, a cat owner herself, speaking to Grimsby Live, described the sickening acts of cruelty as “cowardice”.
She said she’d seen a silver people carrier driver pull up on more than one occasion between 7am and 8am and throw bags out before speeding off.
“We do not know how they died, whether they were poisoned or drowned. They don’t appear to have injuries but it is animal cruelty. It is cowardice,” she said.
“I was sickened that anyone could do this to pet cats. I daren’t look in the undergrowth because there could be many more. It stinks.
“I just want to know how they died. Until we can get in there, we don’t know how many there are. It could be for breeding and then they are murdered. They are all young ones.”
An RSPCA inspector who attended the scene is understood to have told residents that some of them are Siamese cats and are not chipped.
One is thought to have been pregnant and another appears to have been previously buried.
Others looked well cared for and may have owners who are missing their pet cats or kittens.
The cats are due to be taken for post mortem examination.
“We just don’t know if they have been used for dog fighting or for breeding,” continued Donna.
“But there are plenty of cat homes they could have been taken to if they were poorly. I just want someone to come and take them all away and investigate what has happened to them.”
Her son Antanas Paton, 9, spotted the bags when they went for a walk on Tuesday.
He now wants to set up a Cats Protection League for his neighbourhood.
Donna, a mother of two, has five cats of her own.
She said: “My boy was so distraught at what he saw and the neighbours’ cats are scared of going out of their homes.
“Cats have a sense there is something wrong and don’t go near this area.”
She added: “I hope the next time I see him I have a shovel because I know what I will do with it.”
The Carr Lane social club has been closed due to the coronavirus lockdown, so no staff have attended, other than to check the large playing field and bowls club at the rear.
Donna carried out surveillance from 6.30am one morning to investigate who was responsible.
She noted the registration of the Transit-type van and checks revealed it is not taxed and has no MoT.
When the driver spotted her he drove off.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “It has been reported to us and an officer is dealing with it and is in contact with the person who reported it.
“It is unusual to have a case with such a large number.”
A Humberside Police spokeswoman said: “In cases such as these, the investigation would lie with the RSPCA who would contact us if appropriate.”