Police Arrest Man Suspected Of Murdering 400 Cats, But Animal Advocates Say 'Croydon Cat Killer' Is Still On The Loose

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English police have arrested a suspect in connection to the murders of 400 cats. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

English police arrested a man suspected to have murdered roughly 400 cats and small animals, but feline advocates warned that he is likely not the killer and their cats are still not safe.

The gruesome murders began in Croydon, a large town in South London, around October 2015 and police have been hunting the "Croydon cat killer" ever since.

Authorities arrested the 31-year-old man in connection with the killings of five cats who were found butchered to death in Northhampton, north of London, and a string of arson attacks. He has since been released under investigation, according to Northamptonshire Police.

A spokeswoman for the department told reporters she wasn't sure if the man was the same person who has killed hundreds of cats, but said there were many similarities between the cases. The five cats were all beheaded and left for their owners or the public to find. In one case, the cat's body was dismembered and left on its owner's doorstep, and in another, a feline was "deliberately mutilated" and left on a car roof, police told The Independent. Small animals including rabbits and foxes have also been found mutilated and killed. Autopsies have found that the cats died from blunt force trauma and were maimed after they were killed.

One of the Croydon cat killer's trademarks has also been to mangle and leave the felines in public.

But animal advocates say they don't believe the killer is the same person taken in by police since they think the suspect lives in South London, not in the north.

"The killer has not been caught," Boudicca Rising, a co-founder of local rescue group, South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty told the Press Association.

Media reports emerging after the arrests may have made pet owners think the killer had been caught, and the group reiterated that people must take extra precautions to make sure their furry friends are safe after dark.

"Because often people read only headlines we are desperately worried that people will think it's safe to let their pets out. It's not, attacks are continuing and we attended yesterday and today to several incidents. IT IS NOT SAFE TO LET YOUR PETS BACK OUT AT NIGHT," it wrote on Facebook.

On Sunday, the rescue group reported it found a mutilated, "impossible to identify" cat in a town southeast of London.

A $10,000 reward has been offered for anyone who leads to the arrest of the killer or killers, as police think the murders might be carried out by either one person or a group.