The Great Outdoors? Not for Cats!
Some animal shelters manipulate their euthanasia statistics by instituting policies that leave animals to struggle for survival and die painfully on the streets. So-called “trap-neuter-release” (TNR) programs—or, more accurately, “trap-neuter-reabandon” programs—may allow shelters to spin intake and euthanasia numbers, but they do almost nothing to protect cats from the horrors that befall them when left outdoors to battle harsh surroundings, sickness, and sadistic people.
While countless cats who are left outdoors without protection die from infected wounds and injuries (even small abscesses and common urinary tract infections become raging and deadly for unsocialized cats who cannot be handled and treated), contagious diseases, starvation, dehydration, freezing, heatstroke, and attacks by dogs and other predators, as well as from being hit by vehicles or ravaged by parasites, many cats are poisoned, shot, or killed in some other cruel way by those who consider them a nuisance or are simply sadists.
Right or wrong, many property and business owners do not want cats on their property. Some individuals dislike cats and intentionally harm them. Because of the many deadly hazards that befall cats outdoors, responsible guardians allow their feline companions outdoors only when on a leash, in an enclosed area (such as a screened porch), or closely supervised.
So many people become upset by roaming cats that legislation was introduced in Wisconsin and Utah to make it legal to hunt and kill domestic cats! The bills failed, thanks to an outcry from animal activists and compassionate citizens, but that they were introduced at all should serve as a wake-up call for those who care about cats—they are not safe outdoors unattended.
When angry property owners are not given help with the removal of cats who are damaging their property and considered a nuisance, they often take matters into their own hands and resort to cruelty. Recent cases of cruelty to cats left outdoors unsupervised that have made it into the news media include the following:
March 2014/Orlando, Florida: WFTV.com reported that six feral cats and one raccoon had died in about one week’s time by what appeared to be poisoning. An eyewitness said that the animals were seen “jerking [and] foaming at the mouth” before dying. A local resident reported that the neighborhood is “loaded with cats” and stated that she believes that other residents were likely taking “matters in their own hands.” The police were investigating, and no suspects had been identified.
March 2014/Montpelier, Vermont: WCAX.com reported that an injured cat found by Good Samaritans outdoors without supervision was taken to a veterinary hospital, where he was diagnosed with a gunshot delivered at point-blank range. The bullet and shrapnel were found in his head—some lodged near his spine. The cat underwent surgery to enable him to chew food and was expected to survive. There was no report of a police investigation or a suspect in the case.
February 2014/New Castle, Colorado: PostIndependent.com reported that the New Castle Police Department had released a statement explaining that a dog and cat from the same neighborhood had died from possible poisoning. Two days after being allowed to roam outdoors without supervision, the cat was taken to a veterinary hospital exhibiting symptoms of poisoning. Despite receiving treatment, the cat had to be euthanized. Several other animals in the neighborhood had also recently become ill.
February 2014/Palm City, Florida: TCPalm.com reported that a shopper found a cat huddled underneath a car in a parking lot and took the animal to a veterinarian. X-rays revealed that the cat had been shot and had buckshot embedded in her body. The shopper took the cat home after the animal received treatment. It was not reported if police were notified.
February 2014/Salamanca, New York: WIVB.com reported that a cat roaming outdoors unsupervised sustained puncture wounds and broken bones after being caught in a steel-jaw trap in a neighborhood where several other animals had also been injured in illegally set traps. The cat was taken to a veterinarian and received treatment that may have required leg amputation. Individuals with information about who may have set the traps were asked to contact the police department. No suspects had been identified.
February 2014/Arlington, Virginia: WJLA.com reported that a Good Samaritan found a roaming, blind cat who was in obvious pain. He was taken to an animal shelter, where a veterinarian removed one of the cat’s eyes and determined that approximately 80 pellets of buckshot couldn’t be removed without causing additional harm. The cat was reportedly receiving care and recovering. An investigation was undertaken, but no suspects had been identified.
February 2014/Long Beach, California: The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported that two cats just one block apart had been shot and killed with arrows in a matter of weeks. Both cats were found alive but too injured to survive. One was euthanized, and the other died during surgery to remove the arrow, which had skewered her liver. An investigation was undertaken, and no suspects had been identified.
February 2014/Brooklyn, New York: NY City Lens reported that approximately 60 cats, including many who were being fed in colonies, had “disappeared” from a neighborhood in the past two months. A police inspector explained, “Its [sic] unique because they’re feral cats, they are stray cats by nature so because they don’t belong to a location there is no complainant, no one owns the cats.” An investigation was opened, but a lack of evidence as well as failure on the part of those feeding the cats to take responsibility for them had stymied it.
February 2014/Washington City, Utah: SUIndependent.com reported that a reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who shot a homeless cat through the face and into her body with an arrow. She was reportedly found by a person who had been feeding her and other cats. The cat was near death, hiding under a bush with an arrow sticking out of her nose. She survived and has a hole in the roof of her mouth and tongue and one in her esophagus that could later form scar tissue and “constrict the esophagus.” A possible suspect had been identified during a police investigation.
February 2014/Woodstock Township, Michigan: The Daily Telegram reported that a man was charged with felony cruelty to animals for allegedly shooting a neighbor’s cat. The cat survived but sustained severe injuries that required the amputation of a rear leg. The man faced a sentence of up to four years of incarceration.
February 2014/Bloomfield, Nebraska: Norfolk Daily News reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors without supervision was shot to death in a box trap set by the city police department. The officer who shot the cat was disciplined.
February 2014/Chesterfield County, Virginia: NBC12.com reported that a cat allowed to roam outside alone was found dead and stuffed into the mailbox of the home where he lived. The cause of his death was not immediately clear. Police undertook an investigation, and no suspects had been identified.
February 2014/Centralia, Washington: The Chronicle reported that Centralia police cited a man for allowing his dog to roam at large, after the dog killed a neighbor’s cat, who was also outdoors at the time.
January 2014/Villa Rica, Georgia: WSBTV.com reported that six cats and dogs had died in one neighborhood and that residents believe the animals were poisoned. The deaths were reportedly “sudden and painful.” The manager of the local animal control department said the investigation likely couldn’t move forward unless the killer was caught in the act of placing poison.
January 2014/Houston, Texas: CultureMap.com reported that approximately six cats allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had been found dead and mutilated in a neighborhood where “missing cat” fliers had been posted. It was not known if the cats were killed by humans or other animals. One cat named Caesar was found dead, “picked clean and scattered across a neighbor’s yard.” His head was never located, suggesting to his owner and the cat’s veterinarian that he was likely killed by a large animal capable of crushing and eating a skull, such as a coyote or large dog. The same news report stated that Harris County authorities had seen an increase in animal abuse cases in the previous two weeks, including a roaming and supposedly “stray, sick” cat who was thrown into the air and shot. Another case involved a suspected serial cat killer in another neighborhood where numerous mutilated dead cats had been found.
January 2014/Summerville, South Carolina: The Post and Courier reported that a teen had filmed himself coaxing two cats who were outside roaming without supervision into coming near him, picking them up, and then throwing them approximately 30 feet. The video was posted on social media, and police were notified. The teen was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. It was not reported if the cats were injured or survived.
January 2014/Spartanburg, South Carolina: WAFF.com reported that a cat who was allowed to roam outdoors without supervision became stuck inside the engine of a neighbor’s truck. The neighbor drove the truck to a maintenance shop, where animal control officers worked for an hour to release the cat. The animal was uninjured and taken to the city animal shelter.
January 2014/Murfreesboro, Tennessee: WKRN.com reported that a teacher shot her neighbor’s cat, who was allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised, claiming that “she was tired of [the cat] using her children’s sandbox as a litter box.” The cat’s owner transported the animal to a veterinarian, where the animal was euthanized because of the extent of the injuries. The teacher was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.
January 2014/Fawn Township, Pennsylvania: TribLive.com reported that a homeowner called police after a cat was found hanged to death from a tree near the person’s property. The cat had a shoelace tied around his or her legs and another tied around the neck. Police Chief Tim Mayberry said that it was clear that the animal suffered before dying by strangulation. “It was an absolutely sickening sight,” he said. “I’ve been a cop for 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.” The case was under investigation, and no suspects had been identified.
January 2014/Jones County, Mississippi: WJTV.com reported that a woman called the Sheriff’s Department after witnessing a man kill a cat with gardening shears. The man told an investigator that the cat was a stray who entered his home after repeatedly trying to get in for several weeks. He also claimed that the cat had made clawing marks on and around his home trying to get indoors. The man stated that he had bludgeoned the cat with a plastic crate and thought he had killed the animal. Later, he noticed that the cat was clinging to life, so he cut the animal with gardening shears to kill him or her. The cat was buried before police arrived, and no charges were filed.
January 2014/Athens, Tennessee: Local8Now.com reported that a man was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after neighbors saw him pick up a stray kitten by the neck and kick the animal “like a football” into the air. A witness who picked up the kitten said that the animal “twitched” three times before dying in her arms. A court date had been set.
January 2014/Horry County, South Carolina: CarolinaLive.com reported that a cat left outdoors without supervision was attacked and killed by a pack of five beagles. Other animals in the neighborhood had reportedly been found dead recently. There was no mention of an investigation.
December 2013/Las Vegas, Nevada: 8NewsNow.com reported that a cat had been outdoors without supervision for approximately 30 minutes when he was shot with a pellet gun, leaving blood stains on the walls of a back patio. The cat’s leg was badly broken and required amputation. Another cat had reportedly been shot in the same neighborhood. No suspects had been identified in the shootings.
December 2013/Gold River, California: News10.net reported that poison had been found in bowls being used to feed unsocialized cats. It was discovered after an anonymous sign had been left at the site that read, “All feral cats will be trapped, shot or poisoned. You like em, take em to your house. They have no place here.” No suspect had been identified. It was reported that law-enforcement officials would be on the lookout for the person or persons responsible.
December 2013/Corpus Christi, Texas: KIII-TV reported that a cat left outdoors without supervision was found covered in hot asphalt. At the time, asphalt was being poured at a neighboring home. The cat, who sustained severe burns, was taken to a veterinary hospital, where his recovery was uncertain. Police were trying to locate the paving company working in the area for questioning and possible charges.
December 2013/Austintown, Ohio: According to Vindy.com, a man told police that his cat returned home with an arrow in his or her leg after being outside for four hours without supervision. The cat received veterinary care and was expected to recover. No suspects were identified, and it wasn’t clear if police would investigate.
December 2013/Darlington County, South Carolina: CarolinaLive.com reported that a cat who was roaming outdoors without supervision was thrown into a fire, escaped, and was found several days later. After enduring a month of hospitalization and medical treatments, the animal died. A 13-year-old boy was a suspect in the case, which was referred to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.
December 2013/Emmett, Idaho: The Messenger Index reported that police officers responded to a call about a badly injured cat who had been roaming outside unsupervised. It was believed that the animal had been shot with a pellet gun. After searching the area for suspects, officers returned to the cat’s home and were told that the animal had died. No suspects were identified.
December 2013/Waldoboro, Maine: The Bangor Daily News reported that a cat died after being shot in the head with a practice arrow. The arrow reportedly entered the cat’s nasal cavity and was protruding from under the animal’s arm. A Good Samaritan found the animal and took him or her to a veterinary hospital, where the animal died during treatment. Police believe the cat was shot intentionally from a close distance. Officers had several leads in the case and expected to make an arrest.
December 2013/Portland, Oregon: KPTV.com reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors without supervision had to have a leg amputated after being shot with a pellet gun. No suspects were identified, and it wasn’t clear if police would investigate.
December 2013/Greenville, South Carolina: WNCT.com reported that after weeks of not being seen by his owners, a cat allowed outside with no supervision was found with a severely injured leg. He was taken to a veterinarian, where it was determined that he had been shot at least once. He required surgery and more than one blood transfusion and was expected to survive. No suspects were identified, and it wasn’t clear if police would investigate.
December 2013/Bennington, Vermont: The Bennington Banner reported that a man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals for throwing a block of wood at a neighbor’s cat, killing the animal. After the killing, he put the animal’s body in an “outdoor wood boiler furnace.”
December 2013/Frederick, Maryland: WFMD.com reported that a cat was shot in the left front leg while roaming outdoors unsupervised. The animal underwent surgery and was expected to recover. A reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter. No suspects had been identified.
December 2013/Muncie, Indiana: The Star Press reported that three cats were found dead and decomposing in a garage where a woman admitted to trapping the animals whom she considered a nuisance. They had starved to death, according to the local animal shelter superintendent. “Two of the cats had actually began to eat one of the other cats before they died,” he said. “It’s a horrible act of cruelty.” She was cited with three counts of cruelty to animals. A court date had not been set.
November 2013/Beacon Falls, Connecticut: MyCitizensNews.com reported that a reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual who shot a cat who was roaming outdoors unsupervised. The cat’s owner was unable to pay for needed medical care, so the injured cat was signed over to an animal shelter, where he survived surgery and was put up for adoption. No suspects had been identified.
November 2013/Monroe, New Jersey: The Sentinel reported that a 6- to 8-week-old stray kitten was found trapped in a drainage pipe. Numerous agencies helped to rescue the animal, including Helmetta Animal Control, the East Brunswick Animal Hospital, and the animal control office, the police department, Fire Station 57, and the municipal utility department of Monroe Township.
November 2013/Beacon Falls, Connecticut: The Courant reported that a cat allowed outdoors without supervision was found with a bullet wound on his hip. He was taken to a veterinary office, where he was recovering. A reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible, and no suspects were named.
November 2013/St. Joseph, Missouri: StJoeChannel.com reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors without supervision was shot in the head with a bow and arrow. The arrow was removed during an emergency surgery, and the cat was recovering at home late the following day. There were no known suspects in the case.
November 2013/Lakewood, New Jersey: News12.com reported that a cat left outdoors unsupervised was found with an arrow protruding from her side. She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where the arrow was removed. She was recovering, and there were no suspects in the case.
November 2013/Palm City, Florida: TCPalm.com reported that a woman who fed a homeless cat noticed that his health was deteriorating, so she worked to get him trapped and taken to a veterinary hospital. According to the vet, the cat had a bullet lodged near his spine, an ulcerated cornea, an injured paw, and other wounds. He was treated and put up for adoption. No suspects were identified.
November 2013/Norwich, Connecticut: WFSB.com reported that the mayor of Norwich found a cat who had been shot with an arrow through his chest. The animal, who had been missing for two days, was reportedly found impaled and motionless outside the house where he lived. He recovered—although he may have sustained long-term nerve damage—and was returned to his owner. Animal control officials were seeking information in the case.
November 2013/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: MyFoxPhilly.com reported that a reward was being offered for the identification of two male suspects believed to have set a cat on fire. A witness reportedly saw the cat run by in flames and then heard one of the men say, “I put a lot of fluid on it.” A surveillance camera caught the suspects on video. Authorities were appealing to the public for tips, and the cat, who was reported missing several weeks earlier, was being treated for burns.
November 2013/Portsmouth, Maine: SeaCoastOnline.com reported that a cat allowed outdoors without supervision was mauled and killed after wandering into a fenced yard containing two dogs . The dogs were placed under quarantine at their home.
November 2013/Palm City, Florida: CBS12.com reported that a stray cat was found shot, with a bullet lodged in his body. A veterinary hospital removed the bullet and was treating the cat, who was recovering. The local animal control department was investigating but had no suspects in the shooting.
November 2013/Grand Rapids, Michigan: MLive.com reported that a cat was shot to death with a BB gun after an irritated neighbor claimed that he received no assistance from the local animal control department to address a cat who regularly roamed without supervision and was perceived as a nuisance. The local animal shelters that accept cats charge fees to do so. One shelter was reportedly not accepting cats because there was no room at the facility. The shooter was convicted of felony cruelty to animals.
November 2013/Lincoln, Nebraska: The Grand Island Independent reported that a teen admitted to police that he used a hatchet to kill a cat he caught in a trap that he had set to kill squirrels. The teen was cited for cruelty to animals, and formal charges were pending.
November 2013/Hillsboro, Missouri: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a man who killed a neighbor’s cat with a hatchet was sentenced to four years in prison. The cat had reportedly been outside without supervision and wandered onto the man’s property.
November 2013/Salisbury, North Carolina: WCNC.com reported that a cat who was outdoors unsupervised was shot with a bow and arrow. The cat’s owner describes finding her cat in some bushes on the property: “I could see blood coming out of her mouth, and blood coming out of her legs. … [I went] to pick her up and I realized she was impaled by an arrow.” One of two men who had been seen hunting in the area admitted to the crime after a sheriff’s deputy found arrows of the same brand in his possession. The cat had to be euthanized because of blood loss, and the hunter was arrested.
November 2013/Howell Township, New Jersey: New Jersey News 12 reported that a so-called “neighborhood cat” was found “clearly suffering” with an arrow through her chest. The cat was taken to a veterinary hospital, where she was being treated. Police were investigating, and no suspects were identified.
November 2013/Marshall County, West Virginia: WTOV9.com reported that a man who was upset with his neighbors shot a roaming cat with an air rifle. The cat survived, and the shooter was arrested.
November 2013/Shirley, New York: CBS New York reported that a dead cat was found with blunt force trauma to the head, propped up in the baby seat of an abandoned shopping cart. The Suffolk County SPCA was investigating, and there were no suspects in the case.
November 2013/Great Bend, Kansas: FoxKansas.com reported that a decapitated cat was found under some trees. A $5,000 reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. No suspects had been identified.
November 2013/Grand Prairie, Texas: The Dallas–Fort Worth affiliate of CBS reported that a teen was arrested after capturing a cat who was outdoors without supervision, hitting the animal approximately 30 times in the head with a hammer, and then eviscerating the feline. The teen admitted to the crime and was released on bond to await trial.
November 2013/McAlester, Oklahoma: The Muskogee Phoenix reported that a man admitted to using a city-owned box trap to trap and kill—or otherwise cruelly dispose of—more than 84 cats, raccoons, and skunks who had wandered onto his property before a neighbor reported him. The neighbor said that she heard “a cat and noises” and then saw the man throw a plastic bag into a trash can. After opening the bag and finding a cat near death, the neighbor called police. The man admitted to bludgeoning the cat in the head with a hammer. Police shot the animal at the scene because of the severity of the injuries. The man was arrested and received a deferred sentence and a $10 fine.
November 2013/Villa Rica, Georgia: The Times-Georgian reported that a cat who was on his or her front porch was attacked by two neighborhood dogs who had escaped from their home. In an attempt to stop the attack, the cat’s owner shot one of the dogs, who later required the amputation of a leg but survived and was recovering at home. The cat was taken to a veterinarian and euthanized. No charges were filed in the case.
November 2013/Princeton, Indiana: The Princeton Daily Clarion reported that a homeless kitten who had been shot in the face with buckshot from a shotgun was found wandering emaciated and unable to eat with a hole in his head and shattered sinuses. A Good Samaritan took the kitten to a veterinary hospital, where he underwent surgeries. A veterinary technician told the Clarion that the kitten began sneezing constantly after the surgeries as his sinuses struggled to heal. But “he’s not sneezing as much since the hole on the top of his head has healed,” the tech said, “but the one on his nose, we’re going to have [to] re-suture that.” The cat survived. It was not reported if the police were investigating.
October 2013/St. Louis County, Minnesota: NorthlandsNewsCenter.com reported that a cat who had been hit by a car and was left dying in the middle of the road was rescued by a county sheriff’s deputy. The officer moved him to the side of the road and found that he was still warm and breathing but essentially unconscious. The cat was taken to an animal shelter, where he recovered and was put up for adoption.
October 2013/Panama City Beach, Florida: The News Herald reported that more mutilated remains of cats were being found in the community. For the third time, cats’ remains were discovered in the area—this time a cat’s severed head was found in the middle of a street. Neighbors reported that there have been many similar incidents that were not reported to police. It was unclear if the cats were being killed by humans or other predators. An investigation continued.
October 2013/Chandler, Oklahoma: KRMG.com reported that four of six boys between the ages of 7 and 12 were arrested in an extreme case of cruelty to animals captured on video surveillance in mid-October. The video reportedly shows the children abusing a stray kitten “in several ways” before one of them holds the animal over his head and “slams” him or her onto the ground. The kitten then, evidently motionless, is tossed over a fence into a swimming pool. During the attack, the terrified kitten can be seen repeatedly trying to escape, only to be subjected to more torture. The arrested boys face charges of cruelty to animals. The cat did not survive.
October 2013/Port Orchard, Washington: Q13Fox.com reported that a cat was found “bound in duct tape, soaked in a flammable liquid, and burned” in a resident’s flower bed. She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where she was receiving treatment. An investigation was undertaken, and no suspects had been identified.
October 2013/Las Cruces, New Mexico: The El Paso Times reported that a cat allowed to roam outside without supervision was set on fire in an apartment complex. Laughter was heard before neighbors saw the cat in flames. They sprayed the burning animal with water and called animal control. An officer took the cat to a veterinary hospital, where she had to be euthanized because of the severity of her injuries. A reward was being offered for information about this crime, and no suspects had been identified.
October 2013/Arlington, Virginia: The Arlington edition of Patch.com reported that an Arlington animal control officer was dispatched to rescue a cat who was left outside without supervision and who had become trapped in a sewer pipe in the middle of a street. The cat was reportedly “screaming wildly in distress,” and it was pouring rain. A manhole cover was removed, and the cat was rescued. His owner retrieved him from the animal shelter the next day.
October 2013/Alexandria, Virginia: The DelRay edition of Patch.com reported that a stray kitten became trapped under the fender of a rental car. An animal control officer believed the cat had been trapped while the car was driven “some distance.” Fire department personnel were called to remove the fender of the car, after which the traumatized kitten bolted in fear. The animal was captured in a box trap and taken to the local open-admission animal shelter.
October 2013/New Canaan, Connecticut: The New Canaan edition of Patch.com reported that the cleanly severed head of a cat was found near the end of a neighborhood driveway and a similarly mutilated bird’s head was found on a porch in a local neighborhood. The lacerations were considered too precise to have been caused by an animal. The cat may have been a local woman’s companion who was allowed outdoors to roam without supervision. Police were asking the community to call in with tips about the deaths.
October 2013/Allen County, Indiana: The News-Sentinel reported that a man was convicted of Class D felony cruelty to animals after kicking a stray cat who had gotten into his home. After kicking the cat “hard several times,” the abuser called animal control for assistance in removing the animal from his home. An animal control officer reportedly testified that upon arriving at the home, he or she found the cat, whose “head was wobbling and [whose] eyes were rolling back and forth.” The cat was taken to a veterinary hospital. A veterinarian who examined the animal found that a canine tooth had been knocked out and that the cat had sustained scrapes and other injuries consistent with being kicked more than once. The report didn’t disclose if the animal survived.
October 2013/Allegany County, Maryland: The Washington Post reported that two adults and one juvenile admitted to shooting, with 4-inch-long blow gun darts, at approximately 10 cats roaming outdoors, hitting one of the animals. The two adults were charged with cruelty to animals and attempted cruelty to animals, and the juvenile was turned over to youth crimes authorities. The cat survived the shooting.
October 2013/Union Township, Pennsylvania: The York Daily Record reported that a cat who was outdoors without supervision was shot in the neck with an archery arrow. Police were advised of the incident. It’s not known if the cat survived.
October 2013/Union, South Carolina: FOX Carolina reported that police were investigating the shooting of a cat who was outdoors without supervision. He was found injured and taken to a veterinary hospital, where it was revealed that he had been shot in the spine. His condition was so severe that he was euthanized. No suspects had been identified.
October 2013/Prairieburg, Iowa: The Republic reported that one cat and two dogs died after eating meatballs laced with poison placed purposely in the town. Local ABC affiliate KCRG-TV reported that it was determined that the poison used was strychnine, a painful agent that causes agony before death from suffocation. The case is under investigation, and no suspects have been identified.
October 2013/Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post reported that a $5,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in fatally crushing the head of a cat who was outdoors without supervision and bludgeoning another cat’s face so badly that he or she had to be euthanized.
October 2013/Queens, New York: Gothamist.com reported that a 12-year-old girl was arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, after she and a group of friends coaxed a kitten from a porch where he was outside unsupervised and then threw him into the street, where he was crushed under the wheels of a car. A witness claimed that the girl said, “I would do it again if I could.”
October 2013/Canton, Ohio: CantonRep.com reported that a dog who was repeatedly allowed to roam outside unsupervised killed a cat who was also outdoors without supervision. The dog’s owner was arrested for tampering with evidence after disposing of the dead cat’s body and refusing to divulge the body’s whereabouts and for assaulting neighbors who confronted him about the death.
October 2013/Longmont, Colorado: The Times-Call reported that two men were cited for failing to restrain their dogs, after the animals attacked and killed a cat who was outdoors without supervision.
October 2013/Panama City Beach, Florida: The News Herald reported that a preliminary report on the mutilated remains of a cat found in the community suggests that the animal may have been attacked and dismembered by another animal. The investigation remained open.
October 2013/Fort Mill, South Carolina: The Fort Mill Times reported that a local family was offering a reward for information that resulted in the arrest of the individual who bludgeoned their cat to death while the animal was outside without supervision. The cat’s bloody body was found in the woods near a bloody brick. There were no suspects in the case.
October 2013/Crisfield, Maryland: WBOC.com reported that a stray cat was found “completely drenched in diesel fuel” and another was found cut open from “hip to hip.” The cats were taken to a veterinarian, who recommended euthanasia for the animal doused in fuel because the cat was suffering, had been blinded, couldn’t walk, and was showing evidence of severe neurological damage. The other cat was put on life support. There were no suspects in the case, and a reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
October 2013/Houston, Texas: FOX-26 reported that a $5,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who set a homeless cat on fire, resulting in severe burns on the back, head, and ears. The cat was in stable condition and “facing a lengthy rehabilitation.” There were no suspects in the case.
October 2013/Bath Township, Ohio: The Fairlawn-Bath edition of Patch.com reported that a woman called police to report that while her cat was left outdoors without supervision overnight, someone had shot the animal with a pellet gun. The cat survived, and no suspects were identified.
October 2013/Taunton, Massachusetts: The Taunton Daily Gazette reported that a cat who was allowed outside without supervision returned home terrified and unable to place weight on one of her front paws. X-rays revealed that she had been shot with a pellet gun and the pellet remained lodged behind her shoulder blade. The cat’s leg bone was reportedly completely shattered. Surgery to remove the pellet was successful, and the cat now has two metal pins and a metal plate in her leg. A reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest of the shooter.
September 2013/Ithaca, New York: WBNC-12 reported that a 22-year-old homeless man was charged with three felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals after an investigation in which he was implicated. The investigation was undertaken after three cats were found dead with ropes around their necks.
September 2013/Palm Desert, California: Local NBC affiliate KMIR-6 reported that two members of a local “rescue group” found a cat who had been shot at the site where the two feed feral cats. Three cats from the colony were found dead and mutilated at the feeding area. One of the cats had been lying there for at least two days, according to someone who works nearby. The station reported, “This area in Palm Desert is known for its feral cats, so for the employees nearby, it’s not unusual to see dead cats lying around.” No suspects were identified.
September 2013/Archbald, Pennsylvania: WNEP-16 reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors without supervision was shot with a BB gun. The animal survived surgery to have the BB removed. Police were investigating.
September 2013/Climax, Michigan: The Detroit News reported that from March to September, at least five cats who were outdoors without supervision were beaten, tortured, and/or killed in the small village of Climax. WIN-98.5 reported later that dead and injured cats had been discovered over a few weeks and that one of the cats was skinned after being killed. A group of pre-teens had been identified as the culprits, and a court case was being prepared.
September 2013/Lancaster, Pennsylvania: FOX-43 reported that a stray cat was shot with a hunting arrow, skewering his body but missing vital organs. The treating veterinarian believed that the cat had wandered outdoors for at least a day with the arrow stuck in his body. The arrow was successfully removed, and the cat survived. A reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
September 2013/Watsonville, California: The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that law-enforcement officials were looking for a group of boys who were seen using a shoelace to hang a young stray cat from a tree. An eyewitness scared the group away and rescued the cat, who was uninjured and taken to an open-admission animal shelter.
September 2013/Alton, Illinois: The Telegraph reported that after a violent altercation with his girlfriend, a man used a metal bed frame to bludgeon to death a stray cat who had been hanging around outside the home and being fed by residents. He left the cat’s body in the home for his girlfriend to discover. Among other charges, he’s facing a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.
September 2013/Hermitage, Pennsylvania: The Herald reported that a cat who was “occasionally” fed by two neighborhood women was found lying spray-painted orange and extremely ill in the driveway of one of the women. The cat was taken to a veterinary hospital but didn’t survive the night. No suspects were identified.
September 2013/Whitestown, New York: The Observer-Dispatch reported that in early July, a kitten in a bag was thrown into a swampy area of a park. His front paws were bound with tape, and one of his rear paws was severely burned. After several thousand dollars in medical bills, the kitten survived. In an incident later that month, a boy was found in the women’s bathroom at the park with a lighter and two kittens in a box, one bound with tape. The boy was arrested and charged with misdemeanor torture of an animal. Both kittens survived, and police do not believe that the incidents are related.
September 2013/Walton County, Florida: The Walton Sun reported that after “an extensive and thorough investigation,” the Walton County Sheriff’s Office determined that charges were not warranted against a homeowner who fatally shot a feral cat. The investigation revealed that over approximately four years, area homeowners had repeatedly asked the “caretaker” of a feral cat colony in the neighborhood to stop practicing his hobby in the area because the cats were considered a nuisance and had caused costly damage to properties. After repeated failed attempts to resolve the situation humanely, the property owner took matters into his own hands, fatally shooting the cat. After the shooting, other cats in the colony were captured and housed at a veterinary hospital, pending the location of a “sanctuary” for them.
September 2013/Deerfield Beach, Florida: The Sun Sentinel reported that while attempting to rescue a stray cat who was running across a busy roadway, a man was hit by a car, which then hit another vehicle. The cat and driver of one of the vehicles died, and the original rescuer was in critical condition.
September 2013/Lynn Haven, Florida: Local NBC affiliate WJHG-TV reported that at least three cats who were allowed to roam outside without supervision had been attacked by coyotes in a neighborhood where cats are commonly seen roaming. One cat’s injuries were so severe that the animal had to be euthanized, and the other two were found dead. Additional neighborhood cats were suspected to have gone missing. Concentrations of roaming cats attract coyotes into urban areas.
September 2013/Washougal, Washington: The Oregonian reported that three or four teenagers in an SUV were seen speeding up and driving onto a curb in order to hit a cat left outdoors with no supervision. The vehicle was then seen turning around twice to drive by, allowing the teens to watch as the cat lay dying in a yard. The animal apparently did die, and police were looking for suspects.
September 2013/Redondo Beach, California: Easy Reader News reported that a resident witnessed two coyotes kill a roaming cat in his yard. Another cat was reportedly attacked before police chased the coyotes away. Citizens were urged to keep cats indoors and not leave food for animals outside.
September 2013/Panama City Beach, Florida: The News Herald reported that the local sheriff’s department charged a man with cruelty to animals in response to allegations that he cage-trapped cats, terrified them by banging on the cage with a piece of wood, and violently sprayed them with a high-velocity hose.
September 2013/Seattle, Washington: CapitolHillSeattle.com printed a letter to the editor by a citizen who witnessed a cat hit by a car. The car didn’t stop, but the driver apparently looked in the rear-view mirror and was aware of the incident. The cat died, and there was no report of an investigation.
September 2013/Sunbury, Ohio: NBC4i.com reported that a woman came home to find her unsupervised cat lying next to her driveway, badly injured. She thought that the cat had been hit by a car, but a veterinary examination revealed that the animal had been shot with a pellet gun, damaging a vertebra. The injuries were so serious that the veterinarian euthanized the cat.
September 2013/Clifton Park, New York: Fox 23 reported that a Clifton Park man was so frustrated that “no one was listening to his complaints” about a neighbor whose cats were allowed to defecate on his lawn that he placed poison-laced tuna in the area. It’s unknown if any cats were sickened or killed by the poison, but another neighbor’s dog, who found and ate the poisoned tuna, needed emergency medical treatment. The dog survived, and the man was charged with a misdemeanor.
September 2013/Waterville, New York: News Channel 2 reported that police were looking for the person who shot a stray cat through the midsection with a 27-inch arrow. The cat managed to crawl into the hallway of an apartment building, where he was found by a Good Samaritan who took him to a veterinary hospital. A veterinarian was able to remove the arrow, reporting that it took “two hours to repair four holes, and lacerations through his liver and spleen.” The cat survived and was adopted by an employee at the hospital.
September 2013/Freeport, Florida: The Walton Sun reported that two people looking for a missing feral cat they called “Momma Cat” heard a gunshot that led them to a man with a gun who shot the cat a second time. She was reportedly bleeding badly from a shot to the stomach, and her legs were still moving when the feeder caught up to her. The man who shot the cat “reportedly told [the feeder] that a cat had been spraying and throwing up on his truck as well as using his yard as a litter box.” Because the shooting occurred on the man’s property, the sheriff’s department determined that it didn’t constitute a criminal act under local law. A town meeting later revealed that many people were frustrated with roaming homeless cats and “understand” the shooter’s exasperation.
September 2013/Naugatuck, Connecticut: NBC Connecticut reported that police have no suspects in a case in which a cat allowed outdoors without supervision was found bleeding with two BBs embedded between the eyes. The cat is recovering indoors.
September 2013/Oakdale, California: ABC News 10 reported that police found a dead, mutilated cat in the vehicle of a man who was pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving. The driver reportedly told police that he saw the cat on the side of the road and wanted to pet him or her. When he tried to pet the cat, the animal reportedly scratched him. He said that he became angry and began “punching, kicking, and stomping on the cat,” before breaking the animal’s neck. He was booked into the county jail on, among other charges, cruelty to animals.
August 2013/Torrance, California: KTLA.com reported that a local homeowner witnessed a coyote voraciously “chowing down” on a neighbor’s cat in his front yard, killing the cat. Other neighbors reported that other cats allowed outside unsupervised had recently “disappeared.”
August 2013/Eau Claire, Wisconsin: WEAU.com reported that a family’s cat who was allowed outside without supervision was killed in her own backyard by two roaming dogs. After killing the cat, the dogs were seen “panting and frothing” over her body. Responding police officers removed the dogs from the yard.
August 2013/Fairhaven, Massachusetts: SouthCoastToday.com reported that at least four cats allowed outside unsupervised had been killed in three weeks in one neighborhood. The deaths were suspected to be the result of attacks by fishers, coyotes, and/or other predatory species.
August 2013/Harrisburg, Oregon: KVAL-TV reported that one cat survived being shot with a BB gun and six others had suddenly vanished on one cul-de-sac in the community. One neighbor told a reporter that it “tickles” him that the cats were gone because of the damage that they cause to his property but denied harming the animals. The case was under investigation.
August 2013/Corpus Christi, Texas: KRIS-TV reported that seven rabbits and two cats allowed outdoors without supervision were found dead and “laid neatly in the grass” in one neighborhood, most on the same night. The rabbits were reportedly strangled to death and lined up near the outdoor hutch to which they had been confined. On the same day, a cat was found dead not far from the rabbits. The cat’s guardian reported finding another feline companion dead about a month earlier laid out in the same way. A suspect had not been identified.
August 2013/East Chicago, Indiana: WGN-TV reported that a teen was charged with cruelty to animals after confessing to shooting to death three homeless kittens in the alley behind his home with a compound bow and arrow, then posting photos of himself with the corpses on Facebook. One kitten was speared through the head, and another was disemboweled.
August 2013/Houston, Texas: KTRK-TV reported that two cats allowed outside without supervision were attacked by a pack of dogs. Surveillance footage shows that one of the cats was chased up a tree. The other was reportedly mauled for two and a half minutes by the six dogs and eventually died from his injuries.
August 2013/Lampasas, Texas: The Killeen Daily Herald reported that a local homeless cat was shot with a bow and arrow. A veterinarian was able to anesthetize him and remove the arrow without further injury, and he was recovering. A woman who fed the cat outside since the previous fall adopted him and took him indoors for his safety.
August 2013/St. Louis, Missouri: KSDK.com reported that a homeless kitten who was being fed by a woman was found dead on the sidewalk in front of the feeder’s residence, lying in a pool of blood. A rock that was found near the animal’s body was suspected of being the murder weapon. A veterinary examination determined that the cause of the kitten’s death was a head injury. The death was under investigation, and no suspect was identified.
August 2013/Barlow, Ohio: The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reported that a local man was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after violently killing a homeless cat he’d taken into his home a few weeks earlier. The man reportedly said that the cat was “tearing up” his home and that the local animal shelter was “overcrowded and would have put [the cat] down anyway,” so he broke the cat’s neck, beat him or her, and then shot the animal in the head.
August 2013/Townsend, Montana: KRTV.com reported that a cat allowed outdoors without supervision was shot in the head with an arrow, which went in through his ear and out through the back of his neck. He was heard screaming in pain before running off. He returned home later that night without the arrow, but holes remained behind his ear and in the back of his neck. He received veterinary treatment and survived the attack.
July 2013/Norwalk, Ohio: The Norwalk Reflector reported that a cat was hit by a car and sustained a broken spine. Some of the animal’s organs were also protruding from the body. The police were called and shot the animal to end his or her suffering.
July 2013/Buchanan, Michigan: WNDU.com reported that a man angry that his neighbor’s animal companions were on his property was accused of shooting a cat and leaving the animal in his front yard. After hearing a gunshot, the cat’s owner found the cat alive but badly suffering. The animal died shortly afterward, and state and county police were reportedly investigating the incident.
July 2013/Palm Coast, Florida: News4Jax.com reported that a cat named Maddy, who was allowed to roam outside without supervision, was “shot point-blank in the head” outside her home in a gated community. An officer with the Flagler Humane Society reported that the cat was “shot with a copper BB gun at close range on the top of her head.” The BB reportedly exited through her jaw. Maddy was found at a neighbor’s house critically wounded and later died. A suspect hadn’t been found.
July 2013/Woodland, California: The Daily Democrat reported that multiple cats had been poisoned in one apartment complex. An animal control sergeant recovered a poisoned cat from the complex and reported that the poison used was antifreeze. One resident said that at least five cats with similar symptoms had died in just one week. Another resident reported that five kittens “disappeared” overnight and that five other kittens were found dead and “stacked next to a dumpster.” No suspects were identified.
July 2013/North Bergen, New Jersey: The HudsonReporter.com reported that a North Bergen resident repeatedly saw a cat roaming with a rope around his neck that was attached to a bag. Inside the bag was a weight, which caused the rope to tighten like a noose whenever the animal moved. The cat was so frightened that he would run away despite the pain. After feeding the cat for a couple of days, the woman was able to examine him. She described his neck: “Both sides of his neck were opened. It was like chopped meat. … It was terrible.” The cat was taken to a local veterinary hospital, where he received “at least 20″ stitches on each side of his neck. After the cat recovered, the woman reported that she “contacted more than 20 animal rescue groups in three states in her quest to place the animal,” but none would help. During treatment, the cat tested positive for feline AIDS. He was still looking for a home.
July 2013/Timberlake, Ohio: The News-Herald reported that an investigation was closed after it failed to identify a suspect or turn up sufficient evidence in relation to the deaths or disappearance of several cats. It was reported that in a Timberlake neighborhood, “one cat is missing, one [was] possibly poisoned, one [was] injured by a pellet gun and one [was found] dead in the road.” At a Village Council meeting, police told residents that “if people aren’t happy with pets being on their property they should notify the police” rather than taking matters into their own hands.
July 2013/Oregon City, Oregon: KOMONews.com reported that police suspect that a cat found impaled on a spike of a wrought-iron cemetery fence was first beaten and had his or her throat slit. The cat was found dead.
July 2013/Memphis, Tennessee: News Channel 3 reported that several cats had been found dead in a Memphis neighborhood. At least four cats were found dead in one day, apparently killed by roaming dogs. One of the cats was found covered with saliva, and a witness reported that a kitten had been killed by other dogs on the same day. She had seen dogs attacking cats in the neighborhood before these incidents.
July 2013/Safety Harbor, Florida: The Safety Harbor edition of Patch reported that residents witnessed two loose dogs kill a cat who was outdoors unsupervised. One witness described the attack: “The cat was clinging to the top of the fence and the dogs were just jumping up at it, growling and barking and acting crazy.” The dogs finally reached the cat and dragged him or her off the fence. “They ripped the cat apart and left [him or her] in the front yard,” he said. The dogs were captured and taken to the county animal shelter, and their owner was identified.
July 2013/Port Orchard, Washington: The Kitsap Sun reported that two neighborhood cats had been found dismembered in front of the homes where they lived. Both cats were allowed to roam outside without supervision. One did not return home on July 7. Two days later, his or her severed head was found in front of his or her home. The other had reportedly been missing for six weeks before the cat’s severed legs were found in front of his or her home. According to the report, there were no suspects in the incidents.
July 2013/Bay Village, Ohio: Fox 8 Cleveland reported that an unknown suspect had shot two cats who were outdoors unsupervised with a pellet gun. Both cats were seriously injured but survived. Police had no suspects in the case.
July 2013/Arlington Heights, Massachusetts: The Arlington edition of the Patch reported that during a walk with his or her guardian, a dog found a cat in some bushes. A fight between the two animals ensued. The dog’s guardian tried to separate the two, but the cat died at the scene. The cat was wearing a collar with identification and had evidently been allowed to roam freely outdoors with no supervision.
July 2013/Meadowlakes, Texas: The River Cities Daily Tribune reported that in a three-block area in the middle of the city, two cats were injured and one died after being shot with a pellet gun by an unknown assailant. One cat was missing for two days before being found injured on a neighbor’s roof.
July 2013/Crown Point, Indiana: The Northwest Indiana Gazette reported that a man was attacked while trying to stop two dogs from mauling his cat. Police were called for assistance and shot both dogs after nonlethal efforts failed to stop the attack. It is not known if the cat survived.
July 2013/Gulfport, Mississippi: Bay News 9 reported that after being missing for two days, a free-roaming cat named Bear was heard screaming in a house that was being fumigated. Company workers were called and searched the house but found no sign of the cat. As the fumigation continued, a neighbor again heard crying, lifted a tarp, and Bear ran out. He died “a short time later.”
July 2013/Kelso, Washington: The Daily News reported that after being missing for about a week, a cat adopted from the local humane society and allowed to roam outside was found dead, wrapped in duct tape and sealed in a backpack. Leads in the case had reportedly “dried up.”
July 2013/Santa Rosa, California: The Press Democrat reported that a cat named Adam, who was set on fire and barely survived in 2007, was hit and killed by a car. Adam was trapped as a feral kitten by women apparently feeding a colony of unsocialized cats. Left unattended, the box trap with Adam inside was later found in a burning garbage can. Adam had survived seven surgeries, lost his ears and tail, had permanent damage to his left rear leg and hind end, and sustained permanent internal and external injuries because of the blaze.
June 2013/Indianapolis, Indiana: WISHTV.com reported that cats were being poisoned in a colony apparently being maintained by a group practicing trap-neuter-release. A spokesperson for the group said, “If you do have a pet, don’t let them out right now in that neighborhood because obviously somebody is putting poison out.” The surviving cats in the colony were not removed.
June 2013/Codorus Township, Pennsylvania: The York Dispatch reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors without supervision was shot and killed.
June 2013/East Nottingham, Pennsylvania: The Daily Times reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was found shot to death near the animal’s home.
June 2013/Davidsonville, Maryland: CBS Baltimore reported that a stray cat nearly died after being “pierced with a two-foot-long arrow from a crossbow.” The cat reportedly roamed with the arrow in her shoulder for two days before she could be captured.
June 2013/Bay Village, Ohio: According to WKYC.com, a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was shot twice with a pellet gun. A veterinary examination confirmed the shooting.
June 2013/Lakeside, Ohio: WTVG-TV reported that at least two feral cats were found dead from poisoning in the community. The cats’ feeder reported that cats have gone missing or been found dead in the area in recent months.
June 2013/Hillsboro, Ohio: The Times-Gazette reported that local police and animal shelter officials were searching for a roaming cat running through a neighborhood with an arrow completely piercing his or her body. The animal had been injured for approximately four days when news reports were released and still hadn’t been found.
June 2013/Ashville, Ohio: WBNS-TV reported that cats were being mutilated, shot, and killed in a mobile home park where homeless cats are considered a nuisance by some residents. One resident said, “I’ve seen kids run after them on bicycles and cars run off the side of the road trying to hit them.” He has also seen other “cats sick, injured and even mutilated.” When WBNS-TV visited, the local humane society’s animal shelter was closed and a sign was posted: “We are under no circumstances taking any cats or kittens at this time. Our shelter is full.”
June 2013/Columbus, Ohio: WSYX-TV reported that witnesses at an apartment complex called police after they saw “at least a dozen children between the ages of 4 and 13 stomp on a kitten.” Some kids were reportedly “wielding sticks and poked the animal, then used a squirt gun filled with milk to try to drown” him or her. The kitten was homeless and so badly injured that the animal had to be euthanized.
June 2013/Harris, Minnesota: The StarTribune reported that a case of cruelty to animals would be heard in district court against a man who shot his neighbor’s roaming cat with a shotgun. The cat was alive and suffering from severe wounds when law-enforcement officials arrived and shot the animal to end the pain. The man who shot the cat told the responding deputy that he did so because “the cat had been on his property many times and had killed one of his chickens.”
June 2013/San Antonio, Texas: A cat left to roam outdoors was found dead, gutted, mutilated, and hanging from a tree. KSAT.com reported that the cat’s tail had been cut off and the animal was hung by a jump rope about 10 feet off the ground in a neighbor’s yard. The neighbor was out of town, and the cat’s owner smelled “a stench coming from the backyard,” which led him to the cat’s body.
June 2013/Queens, New York: The TimesLedger reported that an Ozone Park man was convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals stemming from an incident in which he beat a stray cat to death “with a metal lug wrench and kicked the animal against a cement wall.”
June 2013/McCracken County, Kentucky: WPTV.com reported that three teenagers were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after killing two cats and posting “before” and “after” photos on a social-media site. An 11-pound rock was the suspected weapon used to bludgeon the animals to death.
June 2013/Grifton, North Carolina: WITN.com reported that a cat roaming a neighborhood was found under a car in “grave condition” after being “shot with an arrow which went completely through [the animal's] back.” Because of the insects on the cat’s wounds, the police chief thought that the animal was shot several days before being found. The cat was mercifully euthanized.
June 2013/Fort Myers, Florida: NBC-2.com reported that a stray cat had been shot with a .22-caliber bullet. The county’s animal services department said that this was the second cat shooting that it had investigated in less than two months.
June 2013/Fort Myers, Florida: WFTX-TV reported that two cats allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised had disappeared. Neighborhood rumors suggested that poison was being placed throughout the community.
June 2013/Vancouver, Washington: KOMO-TV reported that the bodies of two mutilated cats had been found. Residents discovered a cleanly decapitated cat and the hind end of another cat displayed out in the open.
June 2013/Hillsborough Township, New Jersey: The Hillsborough Patch reported that residents insisting on feeding, trapping, neutering, and returning homeless cats to an apartment complex where the animals were not welcome began finding dead cats and noting the disappearance of others. A witness said, “I found this bag of poison. And now another cat is missing. The lady upstairs saw a dead cat too!”
June 2013/Anniston, Alabama: The Anniston Star reported that a local veterinary hospital treated a cat who was brought in with a 19.75-inch Easton Carbon Power C2 Bolt arrow lodged in his shoulder. Two cats with similar injuries had been treated the week before. Also in June, the veterinary hospital treated a cat with a gunshot wound and another who’d been shot in the head with an arrow.
June 2013/Tucson, Arizona: KVOA-TV reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors died after being shot off a fence with a pellet gun.
May 2013/Northbridge, Massachusetts: Telegram.com reported that a resident found a stray cat on his property who was suffering from a badly infected and “mangled” leg after being shot. The leg had to be amputated because of the severity of the injuries. The man adopted the cat, but the shooter hadn’t yet been caught at the time of the report.
May 2013/Andover, Massachusetts: The Andover Patch reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was found dead alongside a road. It was suspected that he had been hit and killed by a car.
May 2013/Sandwich, Massachusetts: CapeCodToday.com reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was found outside his home paralyzed from the waist down after being shot. His injuries were so severe that he had to be euthanized.
May 2013/Modesto, California: The Modesto Bee reported that as many as 37 stray and feral cats were believed to have been poisoned in the area. One cat feeder said that her husband had “buried nine [cats] between the first and third (of May).” Another said that the animals died in a manner consistent with strychnine poisoning: “[A]ll died with claws extended and their mouths open.”
May 2013/Claremore, Oklahoma: The Tulsa World reported that a man was arrested on cruelty-to-animals and illegal-firearms charges after admitting that he had shot his neighbor’s roaming cat from his window. The animal apparently died from his or her injuries.
May 2013/York, Pennsylvania: The York Daily Record reported that a cat left to roam outdoors was found dead with an arrow through his or her body in the bushes near the animal’s home.
May 2013/Boerne, Texas: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised sustained a punctured lung and a broken leg after being shot with a crossbow and an arrow. The cat’s owner told KSL.com that the neighbor who shot the cat said that “there was no collar on him and he was in my plants.”
May 2013/Bastrop, Texas: KHOU-TV reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was found dead from internal injuries under a bridge. A neighbor is suspected of having thrown the cat off the bridge and is facing cruelty-to-animals charges. He had been trapping homeless cats who were trespassing in his garden and told police that he had forgotten that he had trapped the neighbor’s cat, leaving the animal in the trap in the back of his truck for three days before finally taking him to the police station. When he was told that an animal control officer would return the cat to his owner, the man took the cat and left. That same day, the cat was found dead.
May 2013/Mansfield, Ohio: The MansfieldNewsJournal.com reported that three or four men allegedly chased cats out from under parked cars toward two pit bulls, who caught and killed the animals. According to the police report, one of the men recorded the attack on a cell phone. Officers found a dead cat on the sidewalk but couldn’t locate the men.
May 2013/Los Alamos, New Mexico: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was shot with an arrow by an angry neighbor. KRQE.com reported that the animal died during surgery.
May 2013/Summerfield, Florida: Ocala.com reported that a man was arrested on cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly shooting to death a cat who was roaming outdoors unsupervised. The animal was found dead inside a metal trap in a wooded area.
May 2013/Rushville, Indiana: TheIndyChannel.com reported that a female cat was found lying outside skewered by a Beman 340 ICS Bowhunter arrow and barely breathing. She reportedly nearly died during emergency surgery to remove the arrow but subsequently had been doing better. The attending veterinarian said that her chest X-rays showed “bruising on a couple of lung [lobes], but otherwise, she’s not been in any respiratory distress.”
May 2013/Detroit, Michigan: WDIV-TV reported that 14 animals, including an apparent “barn cat,” were stabbed to death at a school that kept animals as part of a farming program. Another cat was injured but ran away.
May 2013/Cass Lake, Minnesota: ValleyNewsLive.com reported that a warrant had been issued based on a complaint alleging that a neighbor put a bowl of meat scraps in his yard laced with antifreeze. He reportedly “didn’t want the neighbor’s dogs and cats in his yard.” Police found at least six dead animals in the area.
May 2013/Yonkers, New York: According to CBS New York, radio station WCBS reported that three homeless “neighborhood cats” had died suspiciously and two others also died after being “found disoriented and unable to stand.” Soon afterward, 10 more cats disappeared. Poisoning was suspected.
April 2013/Alloway Township, New Jersey: The South Jersey Times reported that a cat allowed to roam outside without supervision was found with an Excalibur 16-inch crossbow bolt arrow skewering her neck and shoulder. The injured cat was found on the outside of her owner’s fence, unable to crawl home. A veterinary hospital removed the arrow and stabilized the cat, who was released to recover at home.
April 2013/Lehigh Acres, Florida: WZVN-TV reported that a feral cat being fed by “caretakers” was found paralyzed, “dragging her back legs and tail” after being shot by a pellet gun. The pellet lodged near her spine. She was so badly injured that she had to be euthanized.
April 2013/DeLand, Florida: CFNews.com reported that two homeless dogs killed seven cats and seven ducks before being captured by Volusia County police and animal control officers. An eyewitness to one of the attacks said, “I was watching them attack the cat, one on each side, picking him up, throwing him up in the air. And eventually the cat expired.”
April 2013/Provo, Utah: According to ABC4.com, a woman searching for her missing cat found the animal dead with several others on private railroad land. The animals were burned and mutilated and found in a secluded area inaccessible by roads. “Their paws were bound together with some tape and there was still rope around their neck where they’d been strangulated,” a police lieutenant said. “Somebody had laid their bodies over the railroad tracks and had the train actually decapitate them.” Police thought that traps were used to catch the animals. Four tortured cats had been found in March, and two more were discovered later. Police said that some “were more decomposed than others.”
April 2013/Brooklyn, New York: A father and son were sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation, with a lifetime ban on owning any animals, in a plea deal resulting from cruelty-to-animals charges. In July 2012, the two men viciously beat an outdoor cat to death with a broom handle and a pillowcase containing a heavy object. Law-enforcement officers investigating the case “found a broken stick in the attic [of the defendant's home] along with cat fibers and blood. Investigators also found a partial cat claw, a tuft of cat hair and cat feces,” according to The New York Times‘ City Room. The son reportedly told investigators that “his mother would feed the cat after [he] showed up on the steps of their home a little more than year before the attack.”
April 2013/Auburn, New York: The Citizen reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors was shot and paralyzed in front of his home. The cat had to be euthanized because of the extent of his injuries. There are no suspects in the case.
March 2013/Woodland, California: A cat left outside was paralyzed after being shot with a pellet gun by an unknown assailant. Despite medical treatment, the cat died—unassisted—as a result of her injuries at her guardians’ home.
March 2013/Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: NBC33 reported that a cat “suffered a burn to his side, a damaged ear, and lost three toes” after being cut up in a car engine when the car was started and then driven 15 miles with the cat accidentally trapped inside.
February 2013/Albuquerque, New Mexico: A cat lost part of her foot after she was caught in a steel-jaw trap that law-enforcement officials believe was purposefully set in a neighborhood. KOAT Channel 7 reported that “[i]nvestigators believe the kitten dragged the trap around, and somehow ended up in someone’s back yard. That person called animal welfare.” Animal welfare officer Sharen Westoff described the injuries: “It had actually removed the skin and exposed the bone on … two toes.”
December 2012/Lawrence, Massachusetts: Over the course of a few weeks, nine cats were found dead in Lawrence (see November 2012). According to a news report, veterinarians “believe the cats may have been swung by their tails and thrown onto a hard surface.”
November 2012/Navarre, Florida: A feral cat, who was found with an arrow through one shoulder, died a day after undergoing surgery.
November 2012/Lower Franklin Township, Pennsylvania: A cat allowed to roam outdoors had to be euthanized after being shot with a pellet gun by an unknown attacker.
November 2012/Orange City, Florida: A cat ran off after being shot with a pellet gun in his or her yard. Two days later, the animal was found in a storm drain, dead from the injury.
November 2012/Lawrence, Massachusetts: Eight cats were found dead in a period of about two weeks. Police suspect that someone was trapping homeless cats and “smashing their skulls.”
October 2012/Montevallo, Alabama: Three cats were tortured and killed on a university campus. One of the dead animals was found hanging from a flagpole with hooks through the neck and body.
October 2012/Columbus, Ohio: At least three cats were reportedly killed by being slammed against a wall at an apartment complex. The complex manager had reportedly asked a maintenance worker to remove homeless cats from the courtyard. Some apartment residents reported that blood covered a wall where the animals were apparently cruelly killed.
October 2012/Louisville, Kentucky: A kitten was reportedly tortured by a man at an abandoned hotel.
September 2012/Riverview, Florida: A stray cat was found clinging to life with an arrow through her body.
September 2012/Meshoppen, Pennsylvania: More than 20 homeless cats in a “managed” colony suddenly became ill and/or died from suspected poisoning. Two cats were euthanized at a veterinary clinic after becoming so weak that they could be captured by hand for transport to the animal hospital.
September 2012/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Two feral cats in a colony being fed in northeast Philadelphia were shot to death with a pellet gun. The colony’s feeder said, “I think people think of cats as rodents. There’s a lot of haters who don’t understand about the animals.”
September 2012/Bartlesville, Oklahoma: Three separate cases of cruelty to cats were reported in September. Passing motorists reported that a caged cat was shot in the head and left for dead. Police found the neutered male cat alive and badly injured. He was euthanized at a veterinary hospital because of the extent of his injuries. In the second case, witnesses reported that people had thrown kittens from a moving vehicle in August. In the third incident, a witness reported “seeing three teenage boys swinging and dragging a large, white cat by a string.” According to a news report, “The cat was partially blind, and veterinarians have not been able to determine whether his blindness was due to the tightly-wrapped fishing wire around his neck or was a pre-existing condition.”
September 2012/West Columbia, Texas: A man shot his 3-year-old granddaughter in the leg when he missed the stray cat at whom he was aiming. He claimed the homeless cat had entered his home and stolen food.
September 2012/Blue Springs, Missouri: A man was arrested after hanging a cat, slamming the animal against a wall until he or she was unconscious, and then stomping the cat to death.
August 2012/Spring Hill, Florida: The father of a family that had been feeding a feral cat witnessed approximately six teenagers beat and stab the animal nearly to death before the sadists ran off. He was reportedly taken to a veterinary hospital, where he died from blunt force trauma. He had “suffered from a stab wound, broken ribs, a damaged vertebrae and internal bleeding” as well as suffocation from a badly damaged trachea crushed during the beating.
August 2012/Indian Hills, Nevada: A man was charged with cruelty to animals after admitting toshooting and dismembering a feral cat who had sought safety under his porch.
August 2012/Blackman Township, Michigan: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised wasshot between the eyes with an arrow. It was surgically removed at a veterinary hospital.
August 2012/Van Buren Township, Michigan: A feral cat feeder called “The Cat Lady” in the mobile home park where she lives reported that more than two dozen cats had been killed in a period of about three weeks by being poisoned, shot, and stabbed.
August 2012/Denver, Colorado: Six decapitated and gutted cats were found over a period of approximately four weeks in yards throughout one Denver neighborhood.
August 2012/Mesa, Arizona: Three cats were found dead and “mutilated almost beyond recognition” in a Mesa neighborhood. A surveillance camera captured one of the cats as she was snatched from her property by an unknown man. A news station reported that 12 cats were unaccounted for in the neighborhood.
August 2012/Columbia, South Carolina: Cats in a Columbia neighborhood were found to have been killed and beheaded by an unknown assailant. According to a local investigator, it “was easy to see the head had been removed with a sharp cutting instrument, not ripped like an animal would have done it.”
August 2012/Minneapolis, Minnesota: A cat was found burnt and impaled by a small American flag in a neighborhood park.
August 2012/Evansville, Indiana: Two cats allowed to roam outdoors without supervision weretortured. One was shot with a BB gun, and another reportedly appeared to have been burned and bludgeoned before escaping a sadist.
August 2012/Mingo Junction, Ohio: A woman who feeds homeless cats in her neighborhoodreported that “several of her cats had been abused.” One of the cats was found doused in “a petroleum-like substance.” Another was shot with a pellet or paintball gun.
July 2012/Missouri City, Texas: A man was indicted on cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly shooting four cats from his balcony in December 2011. One of the cats was killed instantly, and two others were paralyzed and so badly injured that they required euthanasia.
July 2012/Portland, Oregon: Volunteers working with Multnomah County Animal Services on what was being called a “TNR project” set and then abandoned traps near an apartment complex. One cat was found dead in a trap by a local resident after succumbing to starvation, dehydration, and/or exposure. Another trapped cat was found earlier and released by a concerned citizen who reported that the animal appeared extremely ill. News reports state that the second cat was never found.
July 2012/San Mateo, California: A cat many described as a “neighborhood cat” who had been abandoned and left outdoors was found “bloodied and paralyzed” after being shot with a pellet gun. She will never walk again and may have to wear a diaper for the rest of her life.
July 2012/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A cat was killed and two others were injured by a woman who doused them with ammonia in an effort to rid the neighborhood of homeless cats.
June 2012/Ontario, Canada: A feral cat colony “caretaker” was unaware that a cat she had been feeding had been shot with a BB gun, leaving BBs in her body. The animal was reportedly spayed and reabandoned on the streets.
June 2012/Baldwin Township, Pennsylvania: A frustrated property owner urged the township’s Board of Commissioners to allow people to shoot homeless and stray cats. During a township meeting, he claimed that he had already killed two cats on his property by kicking them into his pool.
June 2012/Fort Wayne, Indiana: A kitten was found with burns to her face and the pads of her feet. A rubber band had reportedly been used to attach fireworks to her tail.
May 2012/New Baden, Illinois: KTVI Television reported that family members looking for their kitten, who had gotten outside, found the animal “in a trash can at the park; the kitten’s neck broken; blood and foam coming from [her] mouth.” Children at the park reported that “[t]he cat was thrown towards [a teenager by another teenager] and he used [a] skateboard as a baseball bat and swung at her and that’s what killed her.”
May 2012/Sacramento, California: A stray cat was so badly burned that euthanasia was recommended after the animal was “doused with an accelerant and then lit on fire,” according to anews report. Witnesses called the police after seeing what they described as “a ball of fire” moving through a park.
May 2012/Ronkonkoma, New York: A feral cat colony “caretaker” found eight kittens dead from “massive skull trauma” and blunt force trauma to their bodies, which were strewn around the industrial park where they were fed.
May 2012/Medford, New York: A cat was fatally shot with an arrow, which was still protruding from the body when the animal sought safety on a citizen’s porch.
May 2012/Prairie View, Arkansas: A man was in critical condition after being shot in the face by a neighbor shooting at stray cats.
April 2012/East Whiteland, Pennsylvania: A man admitted to shooting three cats with a BB gun. One of the injured cats was found by a good Samaritan and taken to a local veterinary hospital, where the animal was euthanized because of extensive injuries and severe pain.
April 2012/Oil City, Pennsylvania: A man is under investigation after a good Samaritan followed the sounds of a crying cat and found a gravely injured orange tabby in a box trap weighed down in a 30-gallon trash can filled with water. A veterinarian found approximately 20 BBs lodged throughout the cat’s body, including in an eye.
February 2012/Corpus Christi, Texas: Homeless and stray cats were poisoned in a neighborhood in Corpus Christi. According to a local resident, “People are tired of feral cats.” Poisoned cats have crawled under homes and have been decomposing around the neighborhood.
February 2012/Shady Cove, Oregon: A teen was arrested for his possible involvement in the case of a stray cat who was likely doused with an accelerant and lit on fire. The orange tabby was reportedly being fed by a family but was left outdoors unprotected.
February 2012/Fort Worth, Texas: Approximately 24 cats suddenly disappeared from a park in Fort Worth where they were being fed. The chair of the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee of Fort Worth thinks they were killed. She said, “This happened to coincide with a TNR program, which is trap, neuter, release, that the city is looking into passing.”
February 2012/Sutherlin, Oregon: Two dead cats were found with twine wrapped around their necks.
February 2012/Oildale, California: A man was arrested after a police investigation revealed that he likely captured stray cats and ate them. Some neighbors reported that they think they saw the man skin at least one of the animals while the cat was still alive.
January 2012/Tybee Island, Georgia: At least five cats were poisoned to death and about 12 more were missing from a colony of feral cats being fed on Tybee Island.
January 2012/Roswell, New Mexico: Three homeless cats and a roaming Chihuahua named Mimi were shot to death. Mimi was shot with a .22 caliber round, one cat was killed with a pellet gun, and two cats died after being shot with a BB gun.
January 2012/Phoenix, Arizona: A feral cat feeder, who claimed to be socializing feral kittens by keeping them in an outdoor hutch, found them and several other cats dead, likely from poisoning. A neighbor claimed that her cat, who is allowed outside to roam, was missing and that another cat had been found “severely burned” just weeks before.
January 2012/Little Rock, Arkansas: A cat allowed to roam outdoors was found dead on his or her doorstep. The cat’s head had been badly “bashed in,” and graffiti had been spray-painted across the animal’s side.
January 2012/Virginia Beach, Virginia: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised reportedlyhad to be euthanized after being stabbed and then having bleach poured into his wounds.
November 2011/Honolulu, Hawaii: Two cats with barbed darts “embedded into their bodies” were found by the feral cat colony “caretaker” who had been feeding them. One of the animals could barely walk. The caretaker said at least four cats were injured, and more were either dead or hiding and suffering with injuries, because fewer cats have been showing up to eat.
October 2011/Tampa, Florida: Hillsborough County Animal Services was investigating at least three separate poisoning cases of homeless cats in Tampa. A man who was reportedly frustrated with homeless cats for damaging his strawberry plants was suspected of poisoning at least four of the animals, who ate from bowls filled with pellets of rat poison mixed with canned cat food and treats. In another part of town, six cats died after eating cat food soaked in radiator fluid. In the third case, frustrated neighbors reportedly used mothballs to poison cats in a colony registered with the county.
October 2011/Santa Fe, New Mexico: The bodies of more than a dozen feral cats who were being fed behind a strip mall were found strewn about the parking lot after being intentionally fed rat poison.
October 2011/East Pikeland Township, Pennsylvania: Cats throughout East Pikeland Township were shot with arrows and beaten to death. At least nine cats died from the attacks.
October 2011/Port Chester, New York: A pellet from a pellet gun was found lodged in the neck of a homeless cat who reportedly “hangs around” a Port Chester neighborhood.
October 2011/Baltimore, Maryland: A badly burned homeless cat required euthanasia after being set on fire. According to a news report, “several other stray cats could be found in the trash-strewn alley” where the cat was found on fire.
September 2011/South Bend, Indiana: According to a news report, a trap-neuter-release advocate stopped returning cats to the streets after a cat she was feeding was shot with a pellet gun and became partially paralyzed. A television news story also reported that some people in the neighborhood said that they “don’t think anybody should be punished severely for shooting one of the feral cats that they say are a nuisance.”
August 2011/Honolulu, Hawaii: Three feral cats were shot to death with a pellet gun, and several more were injured.
August 2011/Oregon City, Oregon: Six cats were found dead in one two-block area in the city. Veterinary examinations determined that the cats were poisoned with antifreeze, which is often mixed with cat food by angry residents and animal abusers.
July 2011/Cumberland, Maryland: Approximately 20 cats were killed with a corrosive poison that melted the paper plates that were used to set out the poison for the cats, who were part of a large “managed” colony being fed at Constitution Park.
June 2011/Lawrence, Kansas: A homeless cat was trapped and shot twice at a Lawrence residence.
June 2011/Clark County, Washington: Joyriding teenagers shot at least 100 cats before being arrested. The cats were shot with a .22 caliber rifle that belonged to one of the teens’ parents.
May 2011/Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania: The “caretaker” of a colony of feral cats reported that the animals were being poisoned and shot with BB guns, apparently by neighbors who “were tired of them being in their yard, digging up and going under their trailers.”
May 2011/Lancaster County, Nebraska: A skittish so-called “barn cat” was shot with an arrow. The barn owner said, “My husband found her, and the arrow was through her. And her intestines were out, and she was alive.”
May 2011/Wailuku, Hawaii: A band of four partiers shot and killed three feral cats with bows and arrows at Iao Valley State Park. The cats were being fed by a local woman who left them outdoors unprotected.
April 2011/Santa Cruz, California: A Santa Cruz couple came to the conclusion that cats are safer indoors after their cat, Max, came home with an arrow shot straight through his head.
April 2011/Dover, New Hampshire: A resident found a cat in her carport who was badly injured by an arrow that had been shot into the animal’s stomach. The cat had reportedly suffered horribly. The animal’s owner was found and reported that the cat had “been missing” for about four days.
March 2011/Dunnellon, Florida: Neighbors who had been feeding a stray cat assumed that he belonged to someone. But after he was shot in the chest with a bow and arrow, it was clear that he was homeless. The frightened and injured cat roamed the neighborhood with an arrow skewering his midsection for more than a week until he was able to be captured in a large dog trap (cat traps were too small to fit both cat and arrow). By the time he was admitted to a veterinary hospital, he was in critical condition.
February 2011/Afton, Tennessee: WBIR Television reported that three teens went on a shooting spree for more than six hours, resulting in the deaths of 12 cats living in a large “managed colony.”