15 cats mutilated in Maple Ridge

Benjamin Soos with Mau, a kitten who was decapitated in July 2011. - The News/Files
Benjamin Soos with Mau, a kitten who was decapitated in July 2011.
— image credit: The News/Files

Fifteen mutilated cats have been found in Maple Ridge over the past year, prompting the B.C. SPCA to seek the public's help to find who is responsible.

The most recent case dates to March 11, when the severed bottom half of a black and white cat was found in Hammond Park, but the SPCA believes the mutilations began in June 2011.

"In many of these incidents, the cats have been severed almost perfectly in half with a sharp object," said Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the B.C. SPCA.

"It appears to be a very deliberate action and we can only imagine the unspeakable pain these poor animals must have suffered. We really want to find whoever is responsible as quickly as possible before any other innocent animals are killed."

The SPCA and Ridge Meadows RCMP have been working together on the case since last summer, but have not identified any suspects, despite issuing a public alert in September.

Monika Soos found her three-month old kitten, Mau on July 15 on her front lawn on Stephens Street, near 118 A Avenue. The kitten's head was severed and placed neatly next to her bubble-gum pink collar.

Soos called police immediately after finding Mau and officers were concerned enough to canvass the neighbourhood.

Following the kitten death in July, Mounties received two other complaints – both filed on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

The first involved the mutilation of two cats in mid-August on Meadowlark Drive, a street four blocks away from Soos' home.

A short while later, police received another report of a cat who was found butchered on its owner's lawn near 232nd Street and 117th Avenue.

Since September, the SPCA and police have received more reports about cat mutilations.

B.C. SPCA Const. Eileen Drever, the senior investigator on the file, is urging cat owners to keep their pets inside.

"I find this very disturbing," she said.

"Animals are very trusting and for a cat to go up to somebody and for this type of event to happen is just unbelievable."

Dismembered cats have also been found in other parts of Metro Vancouver. At least five cats had been found cut in half in White Rock, Surrey and Langley in October 2010.

Researchers, including the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, have linked animal cruelty to domestic violence, child abuse and serial killing.

Convicted serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and David Berkowitz all delighted in torturing animals before moving on to human prey.

According to the American Humane Association, in a study of 57 families being treated for incidents of child abuse, 88 per cent also abused animals.

In two-thirds of the cases, it was the abusive parent who had killed or injured the animals to control a child. In one-third, the children had abused the animals, using them as scapegoats for their anger.

• Anyone with information about this case is asked to call BC SPCA Constable Eileen Drever at 604-834-7854.

View a map of where the cats were found.

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