Cats found dead, mutilated in southern Utah

Posted at 6:27 PM, Sep 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-23 22:52:18-04

SANTA CLARA – At least three cats have turned up dead in the past three months.  Pet owners describe it as mutilation. Some blown up, others cut in half. It’s enough of a concern that they’re taking their message to the streets urging other pet owners to keep a close eye on their cats and dogs.

Santa Clara police confirmed that they are investigating three incidents, but would not give details because it’s an active investigation.

Caitlyn Whiting is the owner of one of the mutilated cats. She said neighbors found her cat on the front lawn last week.

“Cut in half,” Whiting said. “We only found her bottom half. According to the St. George animal control, they think it’s been cut with an axe.”

But Whiting said the most disturbing part is it’s not the first. She said they only found out about the others after spreading the news of Puddin’.

“Six cats missing,” Whiting said. “We don’t know where they are. We’ve only found three mutilated so far, but like I said, there have been more that have been poisoned.”

Whiting’s family is putting up fliers throughout the neighborhood warning pet owners about a possible pet snatcher.  Santa Clara police say it appears to only be happening late at night, but neighbors say regardless, it’s startling to hear.

“It worries me,” said neighbor Dennis Hicks. “We have both cats and dogs. Somebody who would do something like that to an animal, what else are they capable of doing?”

Other neighbors say wild animals may be to blame. Some have reported seeing a bobcat wander through the neighborhood, while others, like Hicks say it’s not uncommon to hear coyotes during evening hours.

“It’s a possibility because we live here on the edge of town,” Hicks said.

Santa Clara Police won’t say whether they think the mutilations may be human caused. Anyone with information is asked to contact Santa Clara police at 435-652-1122.