It sounds like the ideal plot for an episode of CSI; unfortunately, for cat owners in a city east of Vancouver, it’s all too real.
According to the Nanaimo Daily News in Canada, authorities have warned Maple Ridge residents to keep an eye on their pets – especially cats – as 24 felines have been killed in the past year, seven of which have been found in the last two weeks and all within the same area.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believes the same person is responsible for the killings, which come in waves. In each individual instance the deceased cat has been found dismembered with a saw or knife, and sometimes the remains have been left underneath a missing sign that has been posted for the same feline.
Dismembered cats have been deliberately left for their owners to find in other instances. Not all cats have been identified, however, leaving authorities to believe that some have been strays.
“It’s absolutely horrific – we can’t fathom what would lead someone to do this.” Lorie Chortyk of the British Columbia SPCA said. “Obviously, we’re dealing with an extremely disturbed individual.”
An 18-month-old Calico cat named Buttercup is one of the latest victims. “It’s really scary – that person was in my backyard,” the feline’s owner, Kim Wernicke, said. “I have two small kids, and they play in that yard. I’m thinking we have someone that’s pretty messed up.”
Buttercup’s remains were found on a neighbor’s front lawn five blocks away from Wernicke’s home.
The remains of a different cat were found yesterday by students at an elementary school during lunch; police immediately combed the area for suspects, but made no arrests.
Area residents are urged to report any suspicious activity. “Someone must know this person,” Chortyk said. “We’re just finding bodies, so the only way we have to trace this is if someone has seen something, anything that might lead us to the person.”
The SPCA is leading the investigation.