Mutilated cats have been discovered in Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater. Police believe the deaths could all be the work of one person and are urging people to keep pets indoors.
OLYMPIA — Seven cats in Olympia have been mutilated since October, Thurston County Animal Services said.
Harley was a big, fluffy tabby cat who lived in a little-heated house that Kathy Harrigan built for him. “He was about 20 years old. He was deaf,” Harrigan told KCPQ-TV . She had been taking care of him for the last two years.
“He had found a place under a tree in our yard, so we took him in,” she said. “Built him a house and kept him warm over the next couple of winters. There’s no way he would ever have been an indoor cat or we would have brought him inside.”
On Saturday night, Harrigan brushed Harley and fed him at about midnight.
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“I went to bed, and then in the morning, he’s usually right there at the door waiting for me and he wasn’t there,” she said. “Shortly afterward, the police came by and asked if we were missing our cat — and it turns out that he was dead on our neighbor’s lawn and had been mutilated.”
Harley was somewhat feral and there is no way he would have let anyone pick him up, Harrigan said. “He wouldn’t have allowed anyone to do that, so I don’t know how they got ahold of him,” she said.
Harley is the seventh cat found mutilated and killed so far, two within 48 hours, according to Thurston County Animal Services.
Harley was found by a neighbor in West Olympia. That’s not far from where another cat, Olly, was found dead on Friday.
The cats were cut open from stern to genitals with a scalpel and their spines were removed, Officer Erika Johnson with Thurston County Animal Services said. “I feel for the animal owners because I’m an animal owner myself and just the manner these animals have died is extremely horrific,” she said.
There is evidence Olly who was found strangled and mutilated Friday morning fought back. Johnson is sending samples from her claws to the crime lab in hopes of getting a DNA match.
There were two other similar cases discovered in February in Lacey, one last month near Tumwater Airport, as well as one in Olympia. A case from last October is also believed to be connected.
Officers went door-to-door this weekend in Olympia to look for surveillance video and to warn people about the killings.
“It’s really kind of terrifying. Does it stop with cats? And, then the fact that this person had laid his body out for everyone to see is really disturbing,” Harrigan said.
She now plans to get security cameras and says all of her neighbors are on alert.
“The manner these animals have died is extremely horrific, so people are going to start keeping their cats indoors now,” Harrigan said. “A lot of people had felt free to let their cats be outdoors, but not anymore.”
Pasado’s Safe Haven is offering a $1,500 reward, and Q13 News Anchor David Rose is matching it so the reward is $3,000 for any tip that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.