Cat killer strikes in Langley

Has the Maple Ridge cat killer cross the bridge into Port Coquitlam and Langley?

A warning to keep pet cats indoors has expanded from Maple Ridge into Langley and Port Coquitlam following the discovery of four more mutilated carcasses in the past month.

The B.C. SPCA confirmed all four felines died “under suspicious” circumstances” most likely at the hands of a human, not an animal, bringing the spate of grizzly deaths in May to 11.

In the past year, 24 cats have been discovered mutilated in Maple Ridge but the SPCA is now investigating similar incidents in Mission, Port Coquitlam and across the Fraser River in Langley.

“Necropsies done on incidents in November 2011 and March 2012 state that the injuries were caused by a sharp instrument – not predation,” said SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk.

She added that results have yet to be received from examinations done on carcasses found in May.

The SPCA isn’t ruling out that a coyote could have caused a few of these deaths, because attacks can look similar but fear many of the felines died at the hands of a disturbed person.

Cat heads have found outside a school, placed on people’s porch and in a plastic bag. A tail was found under a missing cat poster, while another was tacked to a fence.

Those acts are unlikely to be the work of a coyote or dog, Chortyk said

“At this point we just don’t know if it is one person – we are expanding the investigation next week,” she added.

“We do have to be careful about how much information we share or we will jeopardize the investigation.”

The SPCA has now enlisted the help of Dr. Melinda Merck, a veterinary forensic expert, who will travel to B.C. next week to examine the bodies.

The SPCA is recommending owners keep their cats indoors.

Police are also in contact with the RCMP’s Behavioral Science Group, who profile and track deviant and unusual criminal behaviour.

“We have received tips from citizens, which we are responding to.  I would like to thank those citizens for providing this

information, and I encourage anyone else with information to call the RCMP or SPCA,” said Insp. Dave Fleugel.

“The RCMP has been working alongside the SPCA since the original reports last year. There was a significant gap of reported incidents over the winter months, and the number of reports increased this spring.”

• Anyone with a lost cat in Maple Ridge is asked to call the local branch of the SPCA at 604-463-9511 or if you have a tip call the BC SPCA Cruelty Investigations Department at 604-709-4670.

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