A MOTHER has been left traumatised after her pet rabbit was mutilated in a “sickening” attack by the so-called ‘M25 animal killer’.

Harriet Mitchell is still struggling to come to terms with the horrific image of finding Chip headless in her back garden in on Tuesday.

She originally thought her beloved pet had been savaged by a fox and desperately tried to hide his body before her daughter, Maisie-Grace, four, got home.

But she was horrified to learn his wounds match previous victims of a depraved animal killer who has been decapitating pets in and around London for two years.

Chip was little Maisie's "best friend"

Hillingdon Times:

The 32-year-old said: “I saw him at the bottom of the garden and when I touched his body, I realised he didn’t have a head.

“I was hysterical, crying my eyes out. I shouted ‘NO’. I couldn’t physically pick him up, I froze, my body wouldn’t allow me to do it.

“There was no blood, no tufts of fur anywhere. But my first thought was with my child, I didn’t want her to see this.

“I haven’t eaten since I found him. Even the thought of eating meat again is putting me off. I have had a knot in my stomach that I can’t get rid of. I’ve been bursting into tears a lot.”

She immediately rang her mother, her neighbour and her friends who came rushing over to wrap little Chip’s body up in a towel.

But it was not until she posted a tribute message on Facebook that a friend suggested he could have been murdered by the ‘animal killer’.

The vet confirmed the injuries could not have been caused by any other animal and they turned the case over to Hertfordshire Police.

He is now being kept at the vets as evidence in case a post-mortem is carried out, but his head has still not been found.

READ MORE: ON THE TRAIL OF THE M25 ANIMAL KILLER

“I know he’s dead, but I’m struggling to accept how it happened and that another human could do that,” Ms Mitchell added.

“I can’t give him a proper funeral. I can’t get my head around it, it’s sickening. How can someone be that cruel?”

The grey rabbit became part of the family three years ago when Ms Mitchell’s mum and step-dad bought him as a gift.

Since then, little Maisie-Grace has been “best friends” with the pet, but has taken comfort in knowing he is in “heaven with Jesus”.

Originally known as the ‘Croydon Cat Killer’, the person responsible is believed to have mutilated hundreds of cats since 2014.

But in recent months, foxes and rabbits have been found dead in other parts of the country and he has been renamed ‘the M25 animal killer’.

South Norwood Animal Rescue Liberty (SNARL) has joined forces with the police to track the culprit down and work out if there is more than one attacker.

Tony Jenkins, co-founder of the charity, said: “Secure your gardens and keep rabbits locked in hutches. I’m not sure what more people can do apart from use padlocks.

“We don’t know if this is a copycat, a joint venture or just one person but the injuries these animals are suffering are the same.

“We need to analyse the data and give the animals a post-mortem to find out more.”

Hertfordshire Police have been contacted for comment.