Concerns have been raised in Ashington in relation to missing cats.
And a local councillor has told the Leader that some of the residents believe their pet has been stolen for dog baiting.
Coun Bob Walkinshaw’s own cat is missing and he is among those in the town who have contacted Northumbria Police and the RSPCA over the last few months.
Both organisations have confirmed that they are aware of the allegations.
Coun Walkinshaw, one of the three Bothal ward members on Ashington Town Council, said: “I am concerned about the amount of cats going missing in the area.
“We have been told that there are persons going round in a white van and cars and stealing cats for dog baiting.
“They are letting their dogs off in the allotments at the west end of Ashington to chase small animals.
“I know some people might not think this is important for the police and RSPCA to look into, but these are pets that are loved by families who have been with them for many years.”
A RSPCA spokesman said: “We have been made aware of allegations relating to a number of missing cats in the Ashington area and would appeal to anyone with some evidence relating to these matters to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234999.
“It must be extremely upsetting for those people whose cats are currently missing and we will look into any information that comes forward.
“We continue to work alongside Northumbria Police and we have spoken to a number of owners who have reported that their cat is missing.
“However, we still need more evidence to progress our investigation further and so urge anyone with information to contact either ourselves or the police.
“In the meantime, we would advise people to remain vigilant and make sure their cats are microchipped and their details kept up-to-date to ensure any missing cats that are found may be reunited with their owners.”