Another mutilated cat was discovered in Lawrence by a man mowing a lawn, police said Wednesday.
Bob Bender, a Dowing's Lawn Care worker, said he saw the front half of the calico cat around 5 p.m. Friday by a small creek near Eighth Street and Monterey Way.
"It had just been cut clean in half," said Bender, who was on a yard service job when he made the discovery. "For a second, I thought maybe we had mowed over it, but we hadn't been over there yet."
Bender said it didn't look like the cat had been there any longer than a day.
"It looked like somebody's pet," he said. "I have a cat and it's pretty crazy, I've never seen anything like that before."
The cat was found about a mile from where neighbors said several other mutilated cats were found in late September, in the 3200 block of West Ninth Street. That's where Mark McCanon found his 13-year-old Manx cat, Sugar, laid out in his back yard on Sept. 29. He said someone had cut it open with a knife and gutted it, leaving the cat's hind legs and tail nearby.
McCanon said three of his neighbors also found their cats mutilated in their yards on different occasions. Lawrence Police said they're investigating multiple reports of animal cruelty in the neighborhood.
The severed head of a cat was also found in nearby Centennial Park, said Midge Grinstead, Lawrence Humane Society executive director.
Bender, Grinstead and McCanon said another animal could not have been responsible for the cat mutilations, because there was no blood nearby, no teeth tears and no puncture wounds.
The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, in conjunction with the Lawrence Humane Society, announced Monday that it's offering a reward of up to $2,500 to anyone with information leading to the conviction of those responsible for any of the cat killings. Tips can be called into Lawrence police or callers can leave an anonymous tip on the Crimestoppers hotline, 843-TIPS.
"Somebody knows something and I just wish they would call in," Grinstead said.
There have been 20 animal cruelty cases reported in Douglas County this year, compared with three or four cases in a typical year, Grinstead said.
She's recommending people keep their animals inside.
"I can't imagine letting an animal out with this going on," said Grinstead. "If the cat has to go out, get a harness, put it on a leash and go out with it. ... It's better than the alternative."