The Great Outdoors? Not for Cats! 2013

Below is just a sampling of some of the horrible fates that have befallen stray, feral, and free-roaming cats. Countless others have died frightened and alone under porches or behind dumpsters, without anyone ever noticing what became of them.

December 2013/Las Vegas, Nevada: 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: 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, 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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/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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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 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 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: 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: 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: 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 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/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/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: 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: 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/Eau Claire, Wisconsin: 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: 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 native predators.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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, 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. 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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 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. reported that the animal died during surgery.

May 2013/Summerfield, Florida: 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: 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: 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: 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, 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.”

Take a look at even more reasons never to let your cat outside unattended, and pledge to keep cats safe indoors.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind