The sanctuary’s warning comes after it rescued two cats in Didcot that were given away on Facebook for use as bait. The Facebook post is reported to have described the cats as being a “good size for bait”.
Iain Atkin, manager of Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary said: “It’s a worrying trend and we have seen quite a few posts online suggesting cats in the county can be used for bait.
“The cats can be used as bait before an organised dog fight and end up getting killed before dogs fight, or people get the cats so they can show off their dogs attacking them in their gardens. We will report what we know to the RSPCA but it’s difficult for them to get sufficient evidence to prosecute these cases.
“I wish we could save and rehome every cat that is being given away for free but sadly that’s not possible and there are also other sanctuaries in the county which take cats.”
The League Against Cruel Sports has reported evidence of a resurgence in illegal dog fights that were first banned 180 years ago, and also warned of cats being stolen for use as bait.