Archive for Thursday, October 16, 2008

Animal blamed for most recent cat killing

Calico cat in west Lawrence was killed by wildlife, biologist says

A feline wanders along the sidewalk near New York and 12th streets on Thursday. Recent reports of cat mutilations have cat owners and the police department scrambling for answers, despite little evidence of who, or what, is responsible.

A feline wanders along the sidewalk near New York and 12th streets on Thursday. Recent reports of cat mutilations have cat owners and the police department scrambling for answers, despite little evidence of who, or what, is responsible.

October 16, 2008

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Animal blamed for most recent cat killing

Pet owners in Lawrence are on high alert after several mutilated cats have been found in and around the city. Tonight, police suspect that another animal may be responsible for some of the killings. Enlarge video

An animal could be responsible for some of the recent cat mutilations in Lawrence, police said Thursday.

A Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks biologist determined a calico cat, whose partial remains were found near Eighth Street and Monterey Way on Friday evening, was killed by an animal, Sgt. Bill Cory said.

There have been at least three reports of cat mutilations in Lawrence in the last four weeks. Two of the incidents are under investigation.

Cory said Lawrence pet owners are encouraged to be aware of the cat killings in the meantime.

Some local cat owners said they've taken notice and have been keeping a closer eye on their pets and keeping them inside, especially at night.

"It's kind of scary, mainly because our outdoor cat is my daughter's," said Sarah Heironimus-Bishop of Lawrence. "I would hate for her to have to wake up one morning to find something terrible like that."

One Lawrence man believes his cat was killed by a human. Mark McCanon found his 13-year-old Manx cat laid out in his backyard on Sept. 29. He said the cat had been cut open with a knife and gutted; its tail and hind legs were left nearby.

The string of animal cruelty that police are investigating began during the last full week of September, when police received reports in the 3200 block of West Ninth Street. One of those killings is possibly the work of another animal, Cory said.

Under city code it is illegal to let a cat run at large, unless it is kept on a leash, in an enclosed area, or on your own property. Habitual violators can be jailed.

"If you really want to keep your cat safe, you keep it indoors," said Mary Prewitt, Lawrence-based Kansas director of the Humane Society of the United States. "Once you let your cat run wild or unrestrained, you're running a risk."







To prowl or not to prowl?

It's against city law to let cats run at large in Lawrence. City code says cats may only be outside, if:

¢ They're on the property of their owner or keeper.¢ They're firmly attached to a leash or chain under the physical control of their owner or keeper.¢ They're within a structure or a fence enclosure.¢ They have an operating electronic collar and are under the charge, care or control of their owner or keeper who is operating an electronic pet containment system or electronic training system for them.

Here are the amounts violators can be fined, according to city code:

¢ $30 for the first offense within a 12-month period.¢ $40 for the second offense within a 12-month period.¢ $60 for the third offense within a 12-month period.¢ $100 for the fourth and subsequent offenses within a 12-month period.

Habitual violators, those who are cited more than four times in a 24-month period, can also be fined between $100 and $500 and be sentenced to six months in jail.

- Transportation reporter Mark Fagan contributed to this report.

Comments

sjschlag 6 years, 5 months ago

two things- First off, I hope they catch the creep who has been killing kitties in my neighborhood. I let my cat out into my yard (he's usually good about staying in my yard, or in the neighbor's yard where he's welcome to be) but I still worry that this disturbed person might attack my cat. I will not feel safe until they find someone.Second- there are foxes and other wildlife in this area. my roommate last year said he saw a bobcat roaming around our neighborhood one time. I have nearly run over a fox riding my bicycle home on some nights. So, that adds to the mystery of this tragic string of events. So, we can never be sure- was this a human or an animal?

Christine Anderson 6 years, 5 months ago

WHAT?? TUNAHELPER, WHAT DID YOU SAY?You lower digestive tract opening!!!How dare you. Stupid cat? I've owned many cats in my lifetime which had more brains, and obviously, more of a heart that you do. Jerk!!

yankeevet 6 years, 5 months ago

Who or wha t idiot wrote thi s story; animal kills cats; what a joke;;/////////Whoever wrote this needs to go;; a frifking waste

BrianR 6 years, 5 months ago

The most recent cat murder might not be related to the earlier ones.

Bunny_Hotcakes 6 years, 5 months ago

If a human is killing these cats, I hope they catch the sick f**k before s/he moves on to people.OTOH, there are plenty of natural predators for cats. Bobcats, coyotes, dogs, the imaginary mountain lions...even birds of prey will go after cats. Keep your kitties indoors!

PapaB 6 years, 5 months ago

BrianR says: "The most recent cat murder might not be related to the earlier ones"I bet it was a copycat.

tonythetiger 6 years, 5 months ago

I did it and they went greeaatt with fava beans.

jumpin_catfish 6 years, 5 months ago

I see a bad moon a risin' I see trouble on the way. Me thinks it be a bad voodoo thing.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 5 months ago

Liberal Lawrence all in an uproar over a dead cat.Pathetic.

Kookamooka 6 years, 5 months ago

Good thing we have our own pack of wild-ish dogs right in our own pack yard. They can easily defend the life of our one, big, fat, stupid cat. We live in that part of Lawrence and if it is coyotees coming up the golf course highway from Clinton all of the people whose property backs onto the golf course had better be super careful. There was a bobcat mom who made a home under a shed in a residental neighborhood near Deerfield too. With all of the new development going on around Free State, the habitat for these animals is shrinking. I'm not surprised wild animals are invading.

funkdog1 6 years, 5 months ago

Ah ha ha ha .... Marion said "pussy".

N_Trenched 6 years, 5 months ago

I hope the Police throw the book at that animal when they catch it. They had better catch that sick-o before it starts killing humans.

JKBagby 6 years, 5 months ago

9/11. Illegal Sanctions. Murdered Prostitutes. Consuming most of the worlds assets. That's Tragic! Sorry about the kitty. Bobcats kill small deer, fawn, that is how they control the pop.

Quigly 6 years, 5 months ago

YEAH Im going with the Chupacabra killing cats here illegally in the United States. I believe it came from a boat from Cuba but is of Peurto Rican decent.

DingesC 6 years, 5 months ago

We had a similar problem with our cats when I was a kid and it was just the calico and the lighter colored cats that seemed to fall "prey" and only at night. It was discovered that it was a large owl and that calico and lighter colored cats were more easily spotted by the owl. I hope that this is the problem here and not someone that has a very sick problem for cats.

tolawdjk 6 years, 5 months ago

Bobcats control deer populations?That must be some damn big bobcats. Given the deer population, damn useless ones too.

zinj97 6 years, 5 months ago

It is probably coyotes. There was a sign on the mailboxes on Tiffany drive (across from Dad Perry Park a block from Monterrey and 8th) that by a person who had seen a pack of coyotes several times, once with a cat in their mouth. Animal control won't do anything because they are wild animals and said it is under Wildlife and Parks but they won't do anything because it inside city limits. I didn't think much of until last week when I saw four coyotes (foxes don't travel in packs and they were too large) crossing the street and moving towards the golf course. There are enough green corridors that they can move throughout west Lawrence easily.

Jack Hope III 6 years, 5 months ago

First of all, if this is some person killing these cats, I hope they find that person or persons and put them in jail for a long time. This is pretty sick.But, I am curious. Could this instead be a case of the mountain lion up on campus that we used to hear about? I am not an expert in biology or animal behavior, so I figured there might be some insight to be found on this board. Maybe a KU prof could offer some insight.Regardless, I feel great sadness for the cat and it's owner. Pets can be surrogate children, and to lose one in this manner is tragic.

Melinda Black 6 years, 5 months ago

We just saw a coyote at Inverness and Wakarusa a few nights ago. I do think some of the missing cats are victims of wildlife predation.However, I don't believe that is what claimed Mr. McCanon's cat. Coyotes aren't known for bringing dismembered cats back to their owners. Sadly, that event bears the hallmarks of a damaged human.

prrkc 6 years, 5 months ago

'He said the cat had been cut open with a knife and gutted'That is how a predator consumes prey- they disembowel first.Anyone who lets their cat roam does not care about their cat. They are not very smart. Three have been stupid enough (none with tags, have no idea if they were pets or feral) to come into my small fenced yard and allow my three dogs to catch them. Unfortunately, none of them got out of the yard.Cats are low on the food chain- if you let them out to kill anything and everything they can catch, they may just get the tables turned on them.And no, I am not going to keep my dogs from enjoying the yard because of dumb cats and their dumber owners. I don't like dealing with the outcome of your poor decision making.

OwlHead 6 years, 5 months ago

I told yall last time...................

bd 6 years, 5 months ago

I remember sitting at night on our porch when we lived in the country watching kittens under the yard light catching bugs and once in a while a big owl would swoop down and try to grab one, country kittens usually have a high mortallity rate!

Valkyrie 6 years, 5 months ago

I for one am a cat lover. I used to have a cat that looked alot like the one pictured for this story when I was going to high school in New Orleans. I trained him to ride on my motorcycle by wrapping himself around my neck and shoulders. It was fun watching the expressions of people as I was riding down St. Charles or Magazine streets with a cat on my shoulders. I would pull up at home and he jump off and in the yard he would go. Then when I would get ready to ride to school, he would jump on the seat and was ready to go. I remember a NOPD cop pulling me over and writing me a warning ticket because the cat wasn't wearing a helmet! As he put it, the law states that the rider and passenger are required to wear helmets. It didn't state what the passenger was. My girlfreind didn't like it as the cat was always swinging his tail in her face (don't get the wrong idea here :) So keep your cats safe.

tunahelper 6 years, 5 months ago

it is just a stupid cat! it was probably some homeless ACORN worker from the omaba campaign.

J2od 6 years, 5 months ago

This has "Future Serial Killer" written all over it. (Paws for effect)Now I'd like to tell you a tail of two kitties... but I'll say it quietly, in a whisker...What, no acclaws?Well, fur-get you then!

hipper_than_hip 6 years, 5 months ago

Coyotes like to eat cats; we've had several cats killed over the years by coyotes. Please PM me if you see a 70lb coyote in your neighborhood; I'll try to help.

alm77 6 years, 5 months ago

yankee, those of us keeping up with this story know exactly what it meant. It's been one of the most discussed issues this week and we pet owners appreciate all the media attention being brought to this issue. Thanks, LJW!! Keep up the coverage!!

jackpot 6 years, 5 months ago

Habitual violators can be jailed. Is this the cat or the owner?

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

After reading the heading, I thought there were going to be a lot of foolish feeling people. After reading the first few posters, I realized that is not true.Funny, how everyone is supporting violation of city rules.

Valkyrie 6 years, 5 months ago

Marion Lynn, Now I got that Led Zepplin song stuck in my head!!!!!

Becca 6 years, 5 months ago

Pen - As of May 2006, it's animal abuse is a felony in in Kansas. However the sentence is a joke.

OwlHead 6 years, 5 months ago

Mangino would not leave anything behind. Eat fur and all. Rules that out.......Maybe we should let the cats vote. Better yet we could have sanctioned wildlife fights to settle this. My money is on Pink panther. HA

50YearResident 6 years, 5 months ago

I just wanted to add that I live out of town 5 miles and the animal parts were left in an area not accesible to other people so it had to be animal preditors that killed and left the rabbit and fawn.

Kris Craven 6 years, 5 months ago

I have seen foxes running across Monterey Way in that creek bed. They are pretty infamous for killing domestic cats.About the bobcats - my cat got out two years ago, and we found her alive about two weeks later. She then stopped eating and developed a neurologic disorder and died within a week. As she was dying, a trip to the ER vet in KC and bloodwork determined that she had cytauxzoonosis - which means she had to be bitten by a tick that had previously fed on a bobcat. So there are bobcats nearby as well. Don't know if they kill domestic cats though?

50YearResident 6 years, 5 months ago

Bobcats can catch and kill fawns and by doing that can help control the deer population. Twice in the last few years I have found parts of anamals in my back yard. One was the 2 rear legs of a rabbit still joinrd togather and the other was the back half of a new born fawn. I don't know what killed them but they were left in my back yard. I put the blame on local wildlife preditors. I have pictures of both in my pictures file.

mwwkw 6 years, 5 months ago

Just curious -- is animal abuse a misdemeanor or felony here in Kansas?

animal_crackers 6 years, 5 months ago

I've been seeing a lot of comments from people who hope that whoever is killing these cats gets a lot of jail time. Unfortuantly, that just wont happen. Kansas laws against animal abuse are pretty tame. Here's a link to what is defined as cruelty to animals and also the punishment that goes along with it.http://kansasstatutes.lesterama.org/Chapter_21/Article_43/21-4310.htmlPunishment: "Cruelty to animals as described in subsection (a)(1) is a nonperson felony. Upon conviction of this subsection, a person shall be sentenced to not less than 30 days or more than one year's imprisonment and be fined not less than $500 nor more than $5,000. During the mandatory 30 days imprisonment, such offender shall have a psychological evaluation prepared for the court to assist the court in determining conditions of probation. Such conditions shall include, but not be limited to, the completion of an anger management program. (2) The first conviction of cruelty to animals as described in subsection (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4) and (a)(5) is a class A nonperson misdemeanor. The second or subsequent conviction of cruelty to animals as described in subsection (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4) and (a)(5) is a non-person felony. Upon such conviction, a person shall be sentenced to not less than five days or more than one year's imprisonment."With all this press on the cat killings, it's a perfect time to try and convince our politicians to enforce animal cruelty laws and to make the punishment harsher.

Deja Coffin 6 years, 5 months ago

For all of those who have lost animals I hope that it was another animal that may have killed it and not some creep. Sad when a coyote lurking in the dark is more comforting then a person.

Pen 6 years, 5 months ago

First of all, if this is a person, I'd like to be the first to have a go at him or her. My cat of 13 years disappeared at the end of August, and our neighbors found entrails (which they presumed were from a rabbit) in their yard the next day. We have, however, seen a large coyote in our area (SW Lawrence) in the past few months. He's probably 55-70 lbs. and is brave enough to run through the middle of the neighborhood early in the mornings. I hate to think that the other missing cat signs I've seen in our neighborhood recently are due to a person, but if so, I just wish animal cruelty laws were much, much stronger.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"And no, I am not going to keep my dogs from enjoying the yard because of dumb cats and their dumber owners."Maybe set out some catfood?

Erin Graham 6 years, 5 months ago

I have theories.. involving manbearpig and werewolves of London... (kidding)Really though, even when I lived in the country I would keep my cats inside. It keeps them safe from animals, cars, people that are screwed up, and disease. I know they love the outdoors and in a particularly sneaky disposition can stealth outside. And sometimes it's a nice treat to let them out, just keep an eye on them and do it during the day.I will say that have seen a few foxes and other wildlife roaming around all parts of town as of late. Which, I agree with Kookamooka, has increased sub-sequentially to the expanding developments. We're eradicating their habitat and they're trying to find a new place to live. (hey, another human-amplified problem!)Knowing this, do your small pets a favor and keep them inside.Condolences to those who've lost pets, especially in such a horrible manor. It's gut-wrenching. And I hope those pets missing currently are found safe and sound!My parents had a cat that ran away, and was found months later at its original house miles away. That kind of stuff can happen, too.

blindrabbit 6 years, 5 months ago

Give a hoot, I'd bet owl! The Great Horned Owl is a deadly, silent and efficient predator on rabbits, skunks and other animals of that size. Those 3" talons would be very effective against a house cat, In some parts of the county, the GH Owl is called a "cat owl". Also, if a cat were attacked by a land predator such as a coyote, bobcat or dog there would be a hell of a fight with a lot of "cat screams". A owl attack would result in little struggle from poor puss; it would be swift, silent and kill quickly. Great Horns are very common in this area, but usually unseen by people, since they are nocturnal.

animal_crackers 6 years, 5 months ago

It's not hard to take an unwanted pet to our local humane society. The humane society doesn't ask questions or punish those that do not want their animals anymore. It's the person's guilt that keeps them from doing the right thing.www.lawrencehumane.org

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