Archive for Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Abuse alert

Animal abuse is tragic in itself, but it also is a serious warning sign of other psychological problems.

October 1, 2008


You don't need to be a cat lover to be concerned about what is happening in the 3200 block of West Ninth Street and perhaps in other parts of Lawrence.

On Monday, Mark McCanon found the mutilated body of his 13-year-old cat in his backyard. The cat had been gutted; its hind legs and tail were lying nearby. Such cruelty to an animal is almost unimaginable, but it's only the beginning of the problem.

Abuse of animals indicates serious psychological problems that can manifest themselves in even more serious crimes. Studies cited by the American Humane Association indicate that 70 percent of animal abusers have records for other crimes and that 71 percent of pet-owning women in women's shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets. Other studies have found that many of the nation's most notorious serial killers killed and tortured animals as children.

Mark McCanon said he knows of three of his neighbors whose cats have been killed, mutilated and left in their yards. Lawrence police confirm they have been investigating several reports of animal cruelty in that area, and the problem may be more widespread. Lawrence Humane Society officials say that a typical year produces three to four animal abuse cases. There already have been 18 cases reported this year, including three cats believed to have been tortured by the same person.

This is a frightening trend in Lawrence, not only because of the threat it poses to precious pets but also because of the future it paints for one or more abusers and the community in which they live. This threat demands a community effort to protect our pets and get help for those who would harm them.

Someone out there must have at least an inkling about who is responsible for this abuse. Whoever it is needs help. Please be willing to get involved and share what you know with Lawrence police. These acts of cruelty are a tragedy for those whose pets are being killed and could be the precursor to an even greater human tragedy in the future.


cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 2 months ago

Disgusting crimes, but I'm not sure what the Humane Society would be able to do about it except get local law enforcement involved, which did happen, according to the article.Not much to do until the perp is caught in the act, or evidence leads to his arrest. Either way, concluding this investigation is clearly re responsibility of LPD, not the Humane Society.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 2 months ago

My cat wants outside, but my landlord is painting the house with is two dogs as company. I've always allowed my cats to go outside. I even leave my back storm door propped open during the day so that she can come and go. I personally think cats should have the opportunity to go outside. It's like growing plants hydroponically: it works, but haven't the plants evolved to grow in dirt? Cats can do fine inside all of the time, but they evolved to be outside. That's just my personal opinion.And I seriously doubt that Sugar fell victim to a raptor of some sort. Things would have been much messier and it probably would not have eaten the 'guts' and left all of the meat laying there. I was once attacked by a northern goshawk, and it wasn't a clean attack. According to the nurse who treated me in the ER, I had about 20 puncture wounds on my temple, cheek, scalp, and one in my earlobe. If a raptor is the culprit, then I think there would be puncture wounds from the talons and the remains would not be 'clean' by any definition of the word. Raptors tear their prey apart with their beaks.

BBFantastic 9 years, 2 months ago

Well, I am a volunteer for the Humane Society; my son works there. I've called them myself to report some things that I've seen.To my knowledge, it was never followed up on. Where are you? You post horrible pictures, and tell of these horrible, but true stories, and when someone actually calls in to tell you about a situation, you haven't done anything?!?Sad to see my son's view on helping animals so hurt because of non-action.Guess you are too busy.

granddame 9 years, 2 months ago

At this point, it is almost irrelevant that cats are let out illegally to roam the neighborhoods, make their annoying messes, etc. The big issue here is that there is a very disturbed person murdering innocent cats in a violent and horrible manner and needs to be found out immediately. This person, as the editorial states, probably (but in my opinion, definitely) has major psychological problems and is extremely dangerous to society. This case needs immediate and top priority action. All citizens need to be alert for a possible suspect in the neighborhood or nearby. The person knows whose home the murdered cats belong....go from there.

LAKERMOM11 9 years, 2 months ago


ExoThermic 9 years, 2 months ago

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ForThePeople 9 years, 2 months ago

To my knowledge animal control officers have been notified as well and are doing what they can to help with this investigation. PLEASE, if anyone finds their pet, cat or otherwise, in a similar situation where there looks to be foul play, do not move or touch it. Immediately notify the police so that the scene can be investigated as well as them being able to do an autopsy. They have to skills to see things that the average person isn't aware of, just by observing the scene of the crime.

make_a_difference 9 years, 2 months ago

The easiest way to protect your cat is by not letting it run loose. Cats can live happily indoors...we've done it for 30+ years. (our vets always marvel at how our cats live to be extremely "ancient" and are in such good health) Not to mention that there is a city ordinance against letting cats run free...they are allowed on your property, but the reality is that it's virtually impossible to keep cats from wandering if they're allowed out. One of the first rules in our household regarding owning animals is that our right to own a dog, cat, etc. does not over-ride our neighbors right to not be bothered by those animals. And if an animal is wandering you can bet that is it somehow "bothering" someone or their property. Pet owners must take full responsibility for their pets. Members of our household are avid animal lovers and have been involved with the Humane Society for over 10 years as volunteers. I would never, ever consider animal abuse acceptable under any circumstance! But I will admit to being extremely "put out" by neighborhood cats coming onto our property and fighting through the screens with our cats, (tearing up new screen repeatedly) spraying urine on and through the windows and around the front porch. I've tried polite conversation with the owners, if the owners can be located. I've used the garden hose when opportunity presents itself. I've even used a safety/no injury trap and trapped a few and taken them to the shelter hoping that having to pay to get their pet back would result in owners choosing to keep their pets home. After 18 years in this house, it continues to be problematic. It's frustrating. Now I'm not saying that there may not be something else going on in this neighborhood...there may be. But it could also be someone who has just gotten their fill of having other people not taking full responsibility for their pets.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 2 months ago

Pogo.... have you ever done anything bad to an unleashed animal just to prove a point?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 2 months ago

Yhis kind of news makes my blood boil. There was a recent story on the CBS news site (Might still be there, search "cats") about a woman who was dating a former baseball player who became jealous of her yellow tabby cat Norman. She left him at her apartment after a fight and returned to find Norman dead under a table, beaten to death. A similar story accompanied this news article about a father who had told his 7 year old daughter to take a knife and kill the family cat, an 8 month old kitten named Boots. The girl didn't do it and the man's yound son tried to protect the cat, but the drunk bully strangled Boots in front of his childern. Both slobs are in legal trouble. But this illustrates the problem with disturbed people. lNot being able to deal with their own problems, and probably too weak or cowardly to deal with others, they turn to animal abuse. My three cats stay inside. We used to have dogs that went out and the flea problem at certain times was very bad. They all do fine indoors, and we are not worried about what might be happening to them "out there". I have seen racoons and possums in my trash cans, and perhaps these animals can do harm to a domesticated pet. Please stay alert and perhaps they can find this fiend.

OwlHead 9 years, 2 months ago

How many different types of predatory birds are there in Kansas? How many varieties of owls are out at night? Maybe there is a serial killer bird in the shadows. Should we give it the electric chair for animal abuse?

domino 9 years, 2 months ago

As an animal lover and pet owner, I feel it is the responsibility of the owner to guard and ensure the well being of their pet. In the past, this has been much easier to do with dogs than it is with cats. However, there are now many different types of kitty "playgrounds" that are enclosed for your feline friends to enjoy while being in the great outdoors. You can find them on line or I'm sure at pet stores. Please make sure the 4 legged friends are kept safe. I can relate to makes-a-difference - we have cats that run our neighborhood, get into things in my garage when the door isn't shut and even woke me at 2:30 the other morning having a screaming cat fight on my retaining wall!! Still would never wish anything like that on any animal!

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 2 months ago

So it's just pet owners, huh? What about feral/stray cats? I commend your approach to the issue, but I have known people with that attitude who took matters into their own hands. I've had problems with cat crap in my garden, but a small fence made from deer-netting essentially eliminated the issue. I guess I just see cats as an accepted nuisance when it comes to gardening in town, much like deer outside of town. To me, they are part of the landscape that isn't going to go away. You obviously disagree, and I acknowledge your opinion, but I just don't see any feasible way to remedy the problem in Lawrence or anywhere else.

Deg 9 years, 2 months ago

Well, I'd say I completely agree with Pogo, nothing annoys me more than people that allow their pets to run free and not giving a crap about what damage or annoyance they cause others. Cats urine is very high in amonia and will kill plants if they frequent them. Maybe he's just like me, keeps his cats indoors and is angered that others can't follow the law as well.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 2 months ago

Hey, hey, good thing I don't live inside the community. And by the way, why did you take my post so seriously? It was rather tongue-in-cheek on my end. I guess I should have guessed by your post that you're a little high-strung. Oh, and it's been my experience with several family cats as a child that people with complaints like yours are the folks who are most likely to shoot cats with pellet guns or even poison them.

ForThePeople 9 years, 2 months ago

Pogo, why are you trying to justify this sick behavior? OH and JSYK, if you are having issues with cats using your garden for a litter box, there are many ways to prevent that. I have found plastic forks stuck in the ground with the tines about a half inch above the soil to be a very effective deterrent.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 2 months ago

No, Pogo is special, apparently.Hey, I tried to be civil and offer damage control measures for a problem that IS NOT going to be solved. I can't judge you, as I am not privy to whatever frustrations in your life that cause you to compensate by trying to control other issues such as this with such a bad attitude, but I wish you luck. Your problem is not going to be solved unless you start taking matters into your own hands. I'll guarantee you that if you get caught being cruel to someone's meandering cat, especially after the Sugar incident, your actions will trump the leash law without question. Good night and good luck.It isn't every day that someone pushes my buttons, but congratulations, Pogo, you did.

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