By Jill Harmacinski firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — LAWRENCE — Eight dead cats have been found in a city neighborhood during the last two weeks, prompting a police investigation into who is killing them and why.
The cats, which at first appeared to have all been poisoned, were found in the Lowell and Greenwood streets area. A deceased cat found last Wednesday was sent for a necropsy to determine the cause of death.
Police Chief John Romero said this morning that the results of the necropsy show the cat died from a fractured skull.
"There was no poison in the animal," he said. "It has a hematoma and a fractured skull. It's suspicious, and not consistent with being hit by a car. We believe someone may be going around hitting these animals with some kind of blunt instrument."
He said while police are not completely rulilng out the possibility that some of the cats were poisoned, he said it seems likely that if one of the cats died from some kind of "blunt trauma," the other cats may have died in the same way.
“It takes a very deranged person to be poisoning cats,” Romero said in a story in today's editions of The Eagle-Tribune.
Not only is it downright cruel, but some individuals who abuse animals also go on to commit violent acts against humans, Romero said.
“Somebody who does this to defenseless animals, in this case eight cats, has some serious aggression issues. The question is whether that aggression can escalate. You just don’t know,” Romero said.
Last Wednesday, city Animal Control Officer Ellen Bistany received a call about a dead cat on the sidewalk at Lowell and Greenwood streets.
As Bistany got out of her car, a local woman “asked me if I thought it was strange there were so many deceased cats in the area lately.” Bistany agreed it was and that she would investigate, she wrote in her report.
Bistany said the dead cat was black with white marks on his paws. There were “no visible signs of being struck by a car, no visible blood or dismemberment.” Bistany noted this was the eighth dead cat she had found in that neighborhood in 14 days. Similarly, the seven other cats “have had no visible signs of being struck by a car. They all appeared intact,” she wrote.
She also walked the area, checking for any signs of chemicals or other hazardous materials that could have harmed the cats. Nothing was found.
Romero stressed he was concerned about the “defenseless animals."
“It may be nothing more than someone who dislikes cats. But cruelty to animals is a felony,” he said.
The necropsy was performed at Johnson Animal Hospital in Lawrence.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.