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Maple Ridge cat killer strikes again

Buttercup was killed sometime last week. Her head was found on a lawn five block from her home. - Craigslist
Buttercup was killed sometime last week. Her head was found on a lawn five block from her home.
— image credit: Craigslist

Seven more cats have been found mutilated in Maple Ridge in the past two weeks, three months after the SPCA appealed for information about the disturbing killings.

In the past year, a total of 22 dismembered cats have been found in the municipality.

Their deaths prompted the SPCA to issue a public warning in March, urging cat owners to keep their pets inside.

Lorie Chortyk, with the B.C. SPCA, said all the cats have been killed in the same manner, either cut in half with a saw or sharp knife.

The latest killings happened in an area between 217th and 230th Streets.

"We are doing necropsies on the bodies, but unfortunately we still have no leads – we are still pleading to the public for information if anyone has seen or knows anything," said Chortyk.

Eric Wernicke's cat Buttercup disappeared Wednesday and was found after someone noticed a posting for a lost cat on Craigslist.

Buttercup's head was discovered on the front lawn of a house five blocks away from Wernicke's home on Selkirk Street.

"It was definitely her," said Wernicke, who identified the year-old Calico from her distinct markings.

Wernicke found Buttercup's tail and tufts of fur later at a street corner.

"We try to keep her in because, from what I hear, this has been happening for a year," said Wernicke.

But like most adventurous felines, Buttercup often slipped out when the front door opened.

Wernicke hopes the person responsible for the cat mutilations is caught soon.

"I hope they get him," he said.

The first cat mutilation was reported to RCMP and the Maple Ridge SPCA last July, but the owner was initially told her kitten was killed by a coyote.

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

Police received three similar reports in the next few months.

The deaths concerned Mounties because all the cats were similarly disfigured.

Maple Ridge vet Dr. Adrian Walton looked at several cat carcasses in March and told the SPCA to order full necropsies on the animals after he noticed clean cuts on their bones.

Walton has been urging cat owners in Maple Ridge to keep their pets indoor for years - not because there's a serial cat killer on the prowl but to keep them out of the jaws of coyotes.

"Research has shown that often times people start of with animals before advancing to humans that's why the SPCA and RCMP are taking this so seriously," he said.

"Someone knows something and they need to bring it forward, not only for the safety of cats but for the safety of their neighbours down the road."

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.

 

 

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