Washington state may have a serial cat killer on the loose, reports ABC News. Law enforcement officials are investigating a string of cat murders that appear to be the work of one killer.
Since February, five cats have been killed in Thurston County, Washington, while local news outlets believe another two fit the profile of the cat killer.
Animal cruelty services investigator for Thurston County Animal Services, Erika Johnson, reported that all the cats were found strangled, surgically cut open, and with their spines removed. The animals were then placed in areas where they would be visible and likely to be found.
Pasado’s Safe Haven released a statement about the murdered cats.
“The cats are usually left in public places after they are killed. Investigators believe these cases are linked due to similar mutilations done to the cats’ bodies (removal of the spine).”
A deaf tabby cat named Harley was the latest victim of the serial cat killer. He was found on a neighbor’s lawn near Decatur Park in West Olympia on Sunday, completely mutilated.
His family gave a statement to local station KCPQ.
“I went to bed and then in the morning, he’s usually right there at the door waiting for me and he wasn’t there. Shortly afterwards, the police came by and asked if we were missing our cat and it turns out that he was dead on our neighbor’s lawn and had been mutilated.”
The investigation has involved law enforcement members walking door to door asking locals for any possible surveillance footage and warning cat owners to keep their pets inside.
Many people have opted to install security cameras on their property, including Harley’s owner.
“It’s really kind of terrifying; does it stop with cats? And, then the fact that this person had laid his body out for everyone to see is really disturbing,” Harrigan told KCPQ. “So, people are going to start keeping their cats indoors now. A lot of people had felt free to let their cats be outdoors but not anymore.”
The Washington cat killer is not the first serial cat murderer to roam the streets. In 2017, a man named Robert Farmer received a 16-year prison sentence for kidnapping and killing almost two dozen cats in San Jose, California.
Pasado’s Safe Haven is offering a $3,000 award to anyone who can provide information that would lead to an arrest and conviction of the Washington cat killer.