Children's plea to help keep pets safe
A SEVEN-year-old Bude boy and his five-year-old sister have written to the Prime Minister and others calling for action on anti-freeze following the death of their pet cat.
Stardust, the much-loved pet of the Rowland family, died a painful death aged 2 after, vets believe, it drank antifreeze.
Raffay Rowland has written a letter to David Cameron and his younger sister Iona has drawn a picture of Stardust to push home the message that a bitter taste should be added to antifreeze so that pets are not tempted to drink it.
They have distributed copies of the letter and picture to others, including the Cornish Guardian, in the hope that other pets can be saved.
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Stardust became unwell suddenly and the family took her to Penbode Vets at Bude where they decided to treat it aggressively by flushing the system.
Sadly that failed and three days later she had to be put down.
"The vet implied this was classic antifreeze poisoning. We will never know for sure, but we do know that cats do not eat things that taste wrong," said mum Yasmin Rowland. "Unfortunately antifreeze tastes sweet, which is tempting to kids and animals. A cat only needs a teaspoon – a dog two tablespoons – to be fatal.
"We will never know where she got the poison. It had been cold the week before so whether there was a spilled pool of antifreeze, I don't know."
Both Raffay and Iona are upset at losing a loved pet.
Raffay says in his letter to Mr Cameron: "We want a flavour put in the antifreeze which tastes bitter.
"This would mean pets would not die of antifreeze poisoning. This would be a very simple thing to change."
He told the Cornish Guardian: "Quite a few of my friends have lost pets and we know two died from drinking antifreeze.
"We miss Stardust a lot, and we want the Government to stop it happening to other pets."
One thing has happened by chance to provide the two children with a new pet.
The owner of Stardust's mother, Peepo, is emigrating to New Zealand so they now have a new cat to look after.