By Jill Harmacinski
---- — LAWRENCE — Authorities are offering a $1,000 reward for the capture and conviction of whoever is torturing and killing cats in a city neighborhood.
MSPCA law enforcement officials yesterday announced the reward after learning a ninth cat was found dead in the Lowell and Greenwood streets area. A necropsy revealed the cat has a fractured skull, spine and detached tail — as if she’d been swung.
“This is someone with some real issues,” said Martha Parkhurst, an MSPCA law enforcement officer.
Investigators are very concerned about the animal cruelty and its link to potential criminal aggression against human beings.
“People who abuse animals often progress to serious crimes against people. This is someone with a lot of aggression in them,” said Police Chief John Romero.
Romero and Lawrence animal control officer Ellen Bistany met with Parkhurst and Richard LeBlond, MSPCA police chief, yesterday morning to discuss the cat killings, which Bistany first detected last month.
Bistany found the ninth cat after she received an anonymous phone call last Thursday about a deceased, multi-colored cat on a sidewalk. The cat had no microchip and Bistany said she had not received any missing cat reports from that area.
She took the cat for a necropsy at Johnson Animal Hospital on Route 114. A doctor there and staffers were very upset when they learned what the female cat, approximately 2 years old, had endured, Bistany said.
The cat had several broken and dislocated bones, including several breaks in her spine, three broken ribs and fractured skull. A material, which appeared to be a baby diaper, was found in the cat’s stomach.
The cat’s tail was completely detached from her body,
“The injuries the cat sustained are consistent with the cat being swung by its tail against something causing major blunt force trauma,” Bistany wrote.
In November, a necropsy was conducted on the eighth cat that cat died of a hematoma and a fractured skull.
Cruelty to animals is a felony.
LeBlond said $1,000 will be paid to anyone who provides information leading the arrest, capture and conviction of whoever is abusing and killing the cats.
Anyone with information can call Bistany at 978-794-5856 or the MSPCA at 800-628-5808.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.