Brandon Griggs writes in the Salt Lake Tribune that a wave of cat mutilations is going on there. Our Dreamland science reporter, Linda Moulton Howe, has reported on similar mutilations from all over the country, yet this story, like most of the others we've read, gives no indication of the scope of the mystery.
Around a year ago, Katy Bonacci saw what she thought was a pile of rags lying in the grass across the street. When she got closer, she realized it was her cat George, with a hole in his left side. His intestines lay on the curb. "I'll never forget that image," She says. "It's just creepy. I haven't had a good night's sleep since."
At least 10 cats and one dog have were found mutilated in Salt Lake City last year. The most recent was a black cat found partly buried two weeks ago. Most of the cats had their hearts or other organs surgically removed, and at least three were decapitated. Most were killed at night and left on lawns or other public areas where they would be found.
Despite publicity, door-to-door canvassing and a big reward, the police have few leads. "We're looking for a needle in a haystack," says Salt Lake City police Capt. Judy Dencker. "Many times we don't even know where the crime scene is. We're just finding dead cats."
State wildlife officer Mike Roach, who examined one of the cats, says, "Wild animals typically bite the animal, kill it, and then drag it off to eat it. This cat hadn't been chewed on." Others think these are animal sacrifices by Satanists. However, there's no evidence of any "Satanists" nearby, and wiccans (also called pagans or witches) do not sacrifice animals.
Local police are talking with police in Aurora, CO (near Denver), where a wave of cat mutilations has also taken place. At least 24 cats have been mutilated, and as Linda Howe reported, all of them were also precisely dissected with their internal organs removed.
"It's like knowing that there's a serial killer in your neighborhood and still letting your children outside," says Temma Martin, of Salt Lake County Animal Services. "Until this is solved, the only protection we have is to keep our pets indoors."
But will it be solved? Maybe we should ask them what's going on.
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