Cats found dead and mutilated

Temecula, CA

December, 2005

There is concern in the Laurel Creek subdivision of Temecula that someone has mutilated and killed at least three cats in and around their community.  On Monday, July 31st, an Animal Control Official stated that experts believe coyotes had killed the first two cats reported mutilated - one in December and the other in late May.  On Sunday, July 30th, a third mutilate cat was found on grass fronting Rubicon Circle and Roanoke Street which is just outside Laurel Creek.

Temecula Police Chief Mitch Alm stated that police will investigate the reported incidents and that a Lieutenant will likely attend a Laurel Creek homeowners meeting this week.

A resident of Chestnut Drive found a cat on Sunday, August 6th.  She believes the mutilations were definitely done by human hands, adding that there were no bite marks in either case. She stated the mutilation was a clean cut – a slice. The cat was cut in half.  She further stated that the top half of the cat was not mutilated in any way – it looked like a piece of meat.  It appeared to her that the animal had been cut with an ax or a machete.

The unidentified resident stated that the late May killing occurred over Memorial Day weekend. A resident of Laurel Creek found a dead cat cut up and buried in a Chestnut Drive park. That cat’s head was sticking out of the ground.  She felt like it was being displayed.

Residents are worried that if a person or group of people are targeting pets, that it could escalate to the killing of children.  At this point they feel the perpetrator is picking more vulnerable beings.

Michael LaBoy, a family therapist in San Diego stated he rarely hears of this type of torture and that it is extreme.  He added that many teenage mutilators have been exposed to domestic abuse as children and their exposure later manifests into duplicating the shameful act, but with pets. Those who mutilate animals find  ‘joy, power and fulfillment through torture – the torture of a helpless victim’.  LaBoy also stated that research did indeed suggest that teenagers who mutilate pets often evolve into murderers if adults don’t intervene.


The Californian