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Why NOT to let your cat outdoors! (click on this title repeatedly to get the entire page to load)

Right or wrong, many property and business owners do not want cats on their property. Some individuals dislike cats and intentionally harm them. Because of the many deadly hazards that befall cats outdoors, responsible guardians allow their feline companions outdoors only when on a leash, in an enclosed area (such as a screened porch), or closely supervised.

So many people become upset by roaming cats that legislation was introduced in Wisconsin and Utah to make it legal to hunt and kill domestic cats! The bills failed, thanks to an outcry from animal activists and compassionate citizens, but that they were introduced at all should serve as a wake-up call for those who care about cats—they are not safe outdoors unattended.

When angry property owners are not given help with the removal of cats who are damaging their property and considered a nuisance, they often take matters into their own hands and resort to cruelty. Recent cases of cruelty to cats left outdoors unsupervised that have made it into the news media include the following:

(there are just too many to list but I am listing a few so you get the general idea – it is NOT SAFE to let your cat outdoors! )

October 2014

Longanecker Jr., was a former Louisiana town councilman and Sorrento’s mayor from 2011 to mid 2013

…”Longanecker Jr., a former town councilman and mayor has been charged with multiple counts of …animal cruelty …. Videos and images of horrific animal cruelty have been found on videos and photographs taken from Longanecker’s laptop hard drive. … charges for the extremely disturbing acts of cruelty against cats. Images show cats with their fur ripped off, bleeding from their mouths and noses, and being choked by hand. Another disturbing photo shows a cat choked with a shoelace. … A court date is scheduled for January 20, 2015. ”

June 2014

February  2014

Humane society Manager Donna Pyette says a male cat was brought to them on Sunday with 17 pellet gun shots in his head….However, she says Joe will lose one of his eyes due to irreparable damage from his injuries.

November 4, 2013

According to Monday’s Dallas News, a 17-year-old, Grand Prairie, Texas, teen, who is accused of mutilating his neighbor’s cat, will remain free on bond.

Oscar Vega, who is facing an animal cruelty charge, learned Monday that he will remain free on bond thanks to a decision by Judge Rick Magnis, to not increase his bail.

In August, Vega allegedly beat the cat in the head 30 times with a hammer, and then beheaded and eviscerated the feline; the cat’s owner discovered the brutalized cat and contacted the authorities.

October 27, Chandler, Arizona:

The kitten was apparently found under one of the boys’ trailer and sold to another boy for $3, police said. After the sale, the boys took the animal to a nearby playground.  The video shows six young boys, ages 7 to 12, on playground equipment playing with a small white kitten and a small dog. The boys at first seemed to just be playing, but things turned dangerous as the boys started pushing the dog down the slide into the small kitten, Favazzo said.Soon, one boy takes a soccer ball and hits the kitten with it as the animal is held on the slide. For next few minutes, the video shows the boys holding the kitten on the slide, while another boy slides down and kicks the animal off the end of the slide as many as six times, Favazzo said.The kitten tries to run away several times, but is quickly chased down by the boys and recaptured, Favazzo said.Finally, the video shows one boy holding the kitten throwing it to the ground. The animal appears to be stunned if not dead, Favazzo said.The boys inspected the kitten and then threw the limp and lifeless animal over the pool fence and into the pool, according to Favazzo.”The video is hard to watch, how these boys were able to inflict this type of cruelty on a helpless kitten,” Favazzo said.

October 26, 2013, West Virginia

A West Virginia man is behind bars after allegedly setting a mother cat and two of her litters on fire.

October 24, 2013/Las Cruces, NM

In short, Montes allegedly sexually abused Lulu with sticks, dunked her lower half in hot water, and strangled her to unciousness.Photos we have seen but will not share here show the damage caused by the burning hot water.According to police, Montes’ 22 year old girlfriend found her kitten unable to walk and leaning against a wall of her litter box, where she had taken refuge.  The young woman took Lulu to her mother’s house. She told police Montes admitted he’d choked the kitten into unconsciousness.

Summer 2013/Mesa, Arizona: A man who is believed to have abducted, tortured and killed “30 to 40″ cats is under house arrest in Mesa, Arizona. According to Mesa’s Channel 3 News, neighborhood residents and other townspeople assembled to protest outside the accused animal abuser’s home on Tuesday, angry that the city hasn’t done more to punish Scott Andrew Graham.

Graham is serving 30 days house arrest after getting caught on film abducting a cat that turned up dead within a day. He confessed to police that he abducted between 30 and 40 cats from Mesa neighborhoods, but denies doing any harm to the animals. He told police he played with them and released them in other areas.

A security camera captured Graham stealing Biscuit, a cat belonging to Amy Kalis, in August of 2012. The cat was found mutilated and killed along with two other cats the next day.

October 22, 2013

Police are investigating after decapitated animal heads were found outside New Canaan homes last week.On Oct. 14, the decapitated head of a black cat was found at the end of Laurel Road driveway. The next day, the resident of a nearby home reported his or her black cat missing. Police said they believe it is the same cat and that the decapitation is the work of a person rather than an animal.

June 2013/Indianapolis, Indiana: reported that cats were being poisoned in a colony apparently being maintained by a group practicing trap-neuter-release. A spokesperson for the group said, “If you do have a pet, don’t let them out right now in that neighborhood because obviously somebody is putting poison out.” The surviving cats in the colony were not removed.

June 2013/Codorus Township, Pennsylvania: The York Dispatch reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors without supervision was shot and killed.

June 2013/East Nottingham, Pennsylvania: The Daily Times reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was found shot to death near the animal’s home.

June 2013/Davidsonville, Maryland: CBS Baltimore reported that a stray cat nearly died after being “pierced with a two-foot-long arrow from a crossbow.” The cat reportedly roamed with the arrow in her shoulder for two days before she could be captured.

June 2013/Bay Village, Ohio: According to, a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was shot twice with a pellet gun. A veterinary examination confirmed the shooting.

June 2013/Lakeside, Ohio: WTVG-TV reported that at least two feral cats were found dead from poisoning in the community. The cats’ feeder reported that cats have gone missing or been found dead in the area in recent months.

June 2013/Hillsboro, Ohio: The Times-Gazette reported that local police and animal shelter officials were searching for a roaming cat running through a neighborhood with an arrow completely piercing his or her body. The animal had been injured for approximately four days when news reports were released and still hadn’t been found.

June 2013/Ashville, Ohio: WBNS-TV reported that cats were being mutilated, shot, and killed in a mobile home park where homeless cats are considered a nuisance by some residents. One resident said, “I’ve seen kids run after them on bicycles and cars run off the side of the road trying to hit them.” He has also seen other “cats sick, injured and even mutilated.” When WBNS-TV visited, the local humane society’s animal shelter was closed and a sign was posted: “We are under no circumstances taking any cats or kittens at this time. Our shelter is full.”

June 2013/Columbus, Ohio: WSYX-TV reported that witnesses at an apartment complex called police after they saw “at least a dozen children between the ages of 4 and 13 stomp on a kitten.” Some kids were reportedly “wielding sticks and poked the animal, then used a squirt gun filled with milk to try to drown” him or her. The kitten was homeless and so badly injured that the animal had to be euthanized.

June 2013/Harris, Minnesota: The StarTribune reported that a case of cruelty to animals would be heard in district court against a man who shot his neighbor’s roaming cat with a shotgun. The cat was alive and suffering from severe wounds when law-enforcement officials arrived and shot the animal to end the pain. The man who shot the cat told the responding deputy that he did so because “the cat had been on his property many times and had killed one of his chickens.”

June 2013/San Antonio, Texas: A cat left to roam outdoors was found dead, gutted, mutilated, and hanging from a tree. reported that the cat’s tail had been cut off and the animal was hung by a jump rope about 10 feet off the ground in a neighbor’s yard. The neighbor was out of town, and the cat’s owner smelled “a stench coming from the backyard,” which led him to the cat’s body.

June 2013/Queens, New York: The TimesLedger reported that an Ozone Park man was convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals stemming from an incident in which he beat a stray cat to death “with a metal lug wrench and kicked the animal against a cement wall.”

June 2013/McCracken County, Kentucky: reported that three teenagers were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after killing two cats and posting “before” and “after” photos on a social-media site. An 11-pound rock was the suspected weapon used to bludgeon the animals to death.

June 2013/Grifton, North Carolina: reported that a cat roaming a neighborhood was found under a car in “grave condition” after being “shot with an arrow which went completely through [the animal's] back.” Because of the insects on the cat’s wounds, the police chief thought that the animal was shot several days before being found. The cat was mercifully euthanized.

June 2013/Fort Myers, Florida: reported that a stray cat had been shot with a .22-caliber bullet. The county’s animal services department said that this was the second cat shooting that it had investigated in less than two months.

June 2013/Fort Myers, Florida: WFTX-TV reported that two cats allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised had disappeared. Neighborhood rumors suggested that poison was being placed throughout the community.

June 2013/Vancouver, Washington: KOMO-TV reported that the bodies of two mutilated cats had been found. Residents discovered a cleanly decapitated cat and the hind end of another cat displayed out in the open.

June 2013/Hillsborough Township, New Jersey: The Hillsborough Patch reported that residents insisting on feeding, trapping, neutering, and returning homeless cats to an apartment complex where the animals were not welcome began finding dead cats and noting the disappearance of others. A witness said, “I found this bag of poison. And now another cat is missing. The lady upstairs saw a dead cat too!”

June 2013/Anniston, Alabama: The Anniston Star reported that a local veterinary hospital treated a cat who was brought in with a 19.75-inch Easton Carbon Power C2 Bolt arrow lodged in his shoulder. Two cats with similar injuries had been treated the week before. Also in June, the veterinary hospital treated a cat with a gunshot wound and another who’d been shot in the head with an arrow.

June 2013/Tucson, Arizona: KVOA-TV reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors died after being shot off a fence with a pellet gun.

May 2013/Northbridge, Massachusetts: reported that a resident found a stray cat on his property who was suffering from a badly infected and “mangled” leg after being shot. The leg had to be amputated because of the severity of the injuries. The man adopted the cat, but the shooter hadn’t yet been caught at the time of the report.

May 2013/Andover, Massachusetts: The Andover Patch reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was found dead alongside a road. It was suspected that he had been hit and killed by a car.

May 2013/Sandwich, Massachusetts: reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was found outside his home paralyzed from the waist down after being shot. His injuries were so severe that he had to be euthanized.

May 2013/Modesto, California: The Modesto Bee reported that as many as 37 stray and feral cats were believed to have been poisoned in the area. One cat feeder said that her husband had “buried nine [cats] between the first and third (of May).” Another said that the animals died in a manner consistent with strychnine poisoning: “[A]ll died with claws extended and their mouths open.”

May 2013/Claremore, Oklahoma: The Tulsa World reported that a man was arrested on cruelty-to-animals and illegal-firearms charges after admitting that he had shot his neighbor’s roaming cat from his window. The animal apparently died from his or her injuries.

May 2013/York, Pennsylvania: The York Daily Record reported that a cat left to roam outdoors was found dead with an arrow through his or her body in the bushes near the animal’s home.

May 2013/Boerne, Texas: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised sustained a punctured lung and a broken leg after being shot with a crossbow and an arrow. The cat’s owner told that the neighbor who shot the cat said that “there was no collar on him and he was in my plants.”

May 2013/Bastrop, Texas: KHOU-TV reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was found dead from internal injuries under a bridge. A neighbor is suspected of having thrown the cat off the bridge and is facing cruelty-to-animals charges. He had been trapping homeless cats who were trespassing in his garden and told police that he had forgotten that he had trapped the neighbor’s cat, leaving the animal in the trap in the back of his truck for three days before finally taking him to the police station. When he was told that an animal control officer would return the cat to his owner, the man took the cat and left. That same day, the cat was found dead.

May 2013/Mansfield, Ohio: The reported that three or four men allegedly chased cats out from under parked cars toward two pit bulls, who caught and killed the animals. According to the police report, one of the men recorded the attack on a cell phone. Officers found a dead cat on the sidewalk but couldn’t locate the men.

May 2013/Los Alamos, New Mexico: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised was shot with an arrow by an angry neighbor. reported that the animal died during surgery.

May 2013/Summerfield, Florida: reported that a man was arrested on cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly shooting to death a cat who was roaming outdoors unsupervised. The animal was found dead inside a metal trap in a wooded area.

May 2013/Rushville, Indiana: reported that a female cat was found lying outside skewered by a Beman 340 ICS Bowhunter arrow and barely breathing. She reportedly nearly died during emergency surgery to remove the arrow but subsequently had been doing better. The attending veterinarian said that her chest X-rays showed “bruising on a couple of lung [lobes], but otherwise, she’s not been in any respiratory distress.”

May 2013/Detroit, Michigan: WDIV-TV reported that 14 animals, including an apparent “barn cat,” were stabbed to death at a school that kept animals as part of a farming program. Another cat was injured but ran away.

May 2013/Cass Lake, Minnesota: reported that a warrant had been issued based on a complaint alleging that a neighbor put a bowl of meat scraps in his yard laced with antifreeze. He reportedly “didn’t want the neighbor’s dogs and cats in his yard.” Police found at least six dead animals in the area.

May 2013/Yonkers, New York: According to CBS New York, radio station WCBS reported that three homeless “neighborhood cats” had died suspiciously and two others also died after being “found disoriented and unable to stand.” Soon afterward, 10 more cats disappeared. Poisoning was suspected.

April 2013/Alloway Township, New Jersey: The South Jersey Times reported that a cat allowed to roam outside without supervision was found with an Excalibur 16-inch crossbow bolt arrow skewering her neck and shoulder. The injured cat was found on the outside of her owner’s fence, unable to crawl home. A veterinary hospital removed the arrow and stabilized the cat, who was released to recover at home.

April 2013/Lehigh Acres, Florida: WZVN-TV reported that a feral cat being fed by “caretakers” was found paralyzed, “dragging her back legs and tail” after being shot by a pellet gun. The pellet lodged near her spine. She was so badly injured that she had to be euthanized.

April 2013/DeLand, Florida: reported that two homeless dogs killed seven cats and seven ducks before being captured by Volusia County police and animal control officers. An eyewitness to one of the attacks said, “I was watching them attack the cat, one on each side, picking him up, throwing him up in the air. And eventually the cat expired.”

April 2013/Provo, Utah: According to, a woman searching for her missing cat found the animal dead with several others on private railroad land. The animals were burned and mutilated and found in a secluded area inaccessible by roads. “Their paws were bound together with some tape and there was still rope around their neck where they’d been strangulated,” a police lieutenant said. “Somebody had laid their bodies over the railroad tracks and had the train actually decapitate them.” Police thought that traps were used to catch the animals. Four tortured cats had been found in March, and two more were discovered later. Police said that some “were more decomposed than others.”

April 2013/Brooklyn, New York: A father and son were sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation, with a lifetime ban on owning any animals, in a plea deal resulting from cruelty-to-animals charges. In July 2012, the two men viciously beat an outdoor cat to death with a broom handle and a pillowcase containing a heavy object. Law-enforcement officers investigating the case “found a broken stick in the attic [of the defendant's home] along with cat fibers and blood. Investigators also found a partial cat claw, a tuft of cat hair and cat feces,” according to The New York Times‘ City Room. The son reportedly told investigators that “his mother would feed the cat after [he] showed up on the steps of their home a little more than year before the attack.”

April 2013/Auburn, New York: The Citizen reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors was shot and paralyzed in front of his home. The cat had to be euthanized because of the extent of his injuries. There are no suspects in the case.

March 2013/Woodland, California: A cat left outside was paralyzed after being shot with a pellet gun by an unknown assailant. Despite medical treatment, the cat died—unassisted—as a result of her injuries at her guardians’ home.

March 2013/Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: NBC33 reported that a cat “suffered a burn to his side, a damaged ear, and lost three toes” after being cut up in a car engine when the car was started and then driven 15 miles with the cat accidentally trapped inside.

February 2013/Albuquerque, New Mexico: A cat lost part of her foot after she was caught in a steel-jaw trap that law-enforcement officials believe was purposefully set in a neighborhood. KOAT Channel 7 reported that “[i]nvestigators believe the kitten dragged the trap around, and somehow ended up in someone’s back yard. That person called animal welfare.” Animal welfare officer Sharen Westoff described the injuries: “It had actually removed the skin and exposed the bone on … two toes.”

December 2012/Lawrence, Massachusetts: Over the course of a few weeks, nine cats were found dead in Lawrence (see November 2012). According to a news report, veterinarians “believe the cats may have been swung by their tails and thrown onto a hard surface.”

November 2012/Navarre, Florida: A feral cat, who was found with an arrow through one shoulder, died a day after undergoing surgery.

November 2012/Lower Franklin Township, Pennsylvania: A cat allowed to roam outdoors had to be euthanized after being shot with a pellet gun by an unknown attacker.

November 2012/Orange City, Florida: A cat ran off after being shot with a pellet gun in his or her yard. Two days later, the animal was found in a storm drain, dead from the injury.

November 2012/Lawrence, Massachusetts: Eight cats were found dead in a period of about two weeks. Police suspect that someone was trapping homeless cats and “smashing their skulls.”

October 2012/Temple, Texas: A homeless cat was shot with an arrow through her nose and shoulder. She was dehydrated and starving when she was found and rescued by a good Samaritan.

October 2012/Montevallo, Alabama: Three cats were tortured and killed on a university campus. One of the dead animals was found hanging from a flagpole with hooks through the neck and body.

October 2012/Columbus, Ohio: At least three cats were reportedly killed by being slammed against a wall at an apartment complex. The complex manager had reportedly asked a maintenance worker to remove homeless cats from the courtyard. Some apartment residents reported that blood covered a wall where the animals were apparently cruelly killed.

October 2012/Louisville, Kentucky: A kitten was reportedly tortured by a man at an abandoned hotel.

September 2012/Riverview, Florida: A stray cat was found clinging to life with an arrow through her body.

September 2012/Meshoppen, Pennsylvania: More than 20 homeless cats in a “managed” colony suddenly became ill and/or died from suspected poisoning. Two cats were euthanized at a veterinary clinic after becoming so weak that they could be captured by hand for transport to the animal hospital.

September 2012/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Two feral cats in a colony being fed in northeast Philadelphia were shot to death with a pellet gun. The colony’s feeder said, “I think people think of cats as rodents. There’s a lot of haters who don’t understand about the animals.”

September 2012/Bartlesville, Oklahoma: Three separate cases of cruelty to cats were reported in September. Passing motorists reported that a caged cat was shot in the head and left for dead. Police found the neutered male cat alive and badly injured. He was euthanized at a veterinary hospital because of the extent of his injuries. In the second case, witnesses reported that people had thrown kittens from a moving vehicle in August. In the third incident, a witness reported “seeing three teenage boys swinging and dragging a large, white cat by a string.” According to a news report, “The cat was partially blind, and veterinarians have not been able to determine whether his blindness was due to the tightly-wrapped fishing wire around his neck or was a pre-existing condition.”

September 2012/West Columbia, Texas: A man shot his 3-year-old granddaughter in the leg when he missed the stray cat at whom he was aiming. He claimed the homeless cat had entered his home and stolen food.

September 2012/Blue Springs, Missouri: A man was arrested after hanging a cat, slamming the animal against a wall until he or she was unconscious, and then stomping the cat to death.

August 2012/Spring Hill, Florida: The father of a family that had been feeding a feral cat witnessed approximately six teenagers beat and stab the animal nearly to death before the sadists ran off. He was reportedly taken to a veterinary hospital, where he died from blunt force trauma. He had “suffered from a stab wound, broken ribs, a damaged vertebrae and internal bleeding” as well as suffocation from a badly damaged trachea crushed during the beating.

August 2012/Indian Hills, Nevada: A man was charged with cruelty to animals after admitting toshooting and dismembering a feral cat who had sought safety under his porch.

August 2012/Blackman Township, Michigan: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised wasshot between the eyes with an arrow. It was surgically removed at a veterinary hospital.

August 2012/Van Buren Township, Michigan: A feral cat feeder called “The Cat Lady” in the mobile home park where she lives reported that more than two dozen cats had been killed in a period of about three weeks by being poisoned, shot, and stabbed.

August 2012/Denver, Colorado: Six decapitated and gutted cats were found over a period of approximately four weeks in yards throughout one Denver neighborhood.

August 2012/Mesa, Arizona: Three cats were found dead and “mutilated almost beyond recognition” in a Mesa neighborhood. A surveillance camera captured one of the cats as she was snatched from her property by an unknown man. A news station reported that 12 cats were unaccounted for in the neighborhood.

August 2012/Columbia, South Carolina: Cats in a Columbia neighborhood were found to have been killed and beheaded by an unknown assailant. According to a local investigator, it “was easy to see the head had been removed with a sharp cutting instrument, not ripped like an animal would have done it.”

August 2012/Minneapolis, Minnesota: A cat was found burnt and impaled by a small American flag in a neighborhood park.

August 2012/Evansville, Indiana: Two cats allowed to roam outdoors without supervision weretortured. One was shot with a BB gun, and another reportedly appeared to have been burned and bludgeoned before escaping a sadist.

August 2012/Mingo Junction, Ohio: A woman who feeds homeless cats in her neighborhoodreported that “several of her cats had been abused.” One of the cats was found doused in “a petroleum-like substance.” Another was shot with a pellet or paintball gun.

July 2012/Missouri City, Texas: A man was indicted on cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly shooting four cats from his balcony in December 2011. One of the cats was killed instantly, and two others were paralyzed and so badly injured that they required euthanasia.

July 2012/Portland, Oregon: Volunteers working with Multnomah County Animal Services on what was being called a “TNR project” set and then abandoned traps near an apartment complex. One cat was found dead in a trap by a local resident after succumbing to starvation, dehydration, and/or exposure. Another trapped cat was found earlier and released by a concerned citizen who reported that the animal appeared extremely ill. News reports state that the second cat was never found.

July 2012/San Mateo, California: A cat many described as a “neighborhood cat” who had been abandoned and left outdoors was found “bloodied and paralyzed” after being shot with a pellet gun. She will never walk again and may have to wear a diaper for the rest of her life.

July 2012/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A cat was killed and two others were injured by a woman who doused them with ammonia in an effort to rid the neighborhood of homeless cats.

June 2012/Ontario, Canada: A feral cat colony “caretaker” was unaware that a cat she had been feeding had been shot with a BB gun, leaving BBs in her body. The animal was reportedly spayed and reabandoned on the streets.

June 2012/Baldwin Township, Pennsylvania: A frustrated property owner urged the township’s Board of Commissioners to allow people to shoot homeless and stray cats. During a township meeting, he claimed that he had already killed two cats on his property by kicking them into his pool.

June 2012/Fort Wayne, Indiana: A kitten was found with burns to her face and the pads of her feet. A rubber band had reportedly been used to attach fireworks to her tail.

May 2012/New Baden, Illinois: KTVI Television reported that family members looking for their kitten, who had gotten outside, found the animal “in a trash can at the park; the kitten’s neck broken; blood and foam coming from [her] mouth.” Children at the park reported that “[t]he cat was thrown towards [a teenager by another teenager] and he used [a] skateboard as a baseball bat and swung at her and that’s what killed her.”

May 2012/Sacramento, California: A stray cat was so badly burned that euthanasia was recommended after the animal was “doused with an accelerant and then lit on fire,” according to anews report. Witnesses called the police after seeing what they described as “a ball of fire” moving through a park.

May 2012/Ronkonkoma, New York: A feral cat colony “caretaker” found eight kittens dead from “massive skull trauma” and blunt force trauma to their bodies, which were strewn around the industrial park where they were fed.

May 2012/Medford, New York: A cat was fatally shot with an arrow, which was still protruding from the body when the animal sought safety on a citizen’s porch.

May 2012/Prairie View, Arkansas: A man was in critical condition after being shot in the face by a neighbor shooting at stray cats.

April 2012/East Whiteland, Pennsylvania: A man admitted to shooting three cats with a BB gun. One of the injured cats was found by a good Samaritan and taken to a local veterinary hospital, where the animal was euthanized because of extensive injuries and severe pain.

April 2012/Oil City, Pennsylvania: A man is under investigation after a good Samaritan followed the sounds of a crying cat and found a gravely injured orange tabby in a box trap weighed down in a 30-gallon trash can filled with water. A veterinarian found approximately 20 BBs lodged throughout the cat’s body, including in an eye.

February 2012/Corpus Christi, Texas: Homeless and stray cats were poisoned in a neighborhood in Corpus Christi. According to a local resident, “People are tired of feral cats.” Poisoned cats have crawled under homes and have been decomposing around the neighborhood.

February 2012/Shady Cove, Oregon: A teen was arrested for his possible involvement in the case of a stray cat who was likely doused with an accelerant and lit on fire. The orange tabby was reportedly being fed by a family but was left outdoors unprotected.

February 2012/Fort Worth, Texas: Approximately 24 cats suddenly disappeared from a park in Fort Worth where they were being fed. The chair of the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee of Fort Worth thinks they were killed. She said, “This happened to coincide with a TNR program, which is trap, neuter, release, that the city is looking into passing.”

February 2012/Sutherlin, Oregon: Two dead cats were found with twine wrapped around their necks.

February 2012/Oildale, California: A man was arrested after a police investigation revealed that he likely captured stray cats and ate them. Some neighbors reported that they think they saw the man skin at least one of the animals while the cat was still alive.

January 2012/Tybee Island, Georgia: At least five cats were poisoned to death and about 12 more were missing from a colony of feral cats being fed on Tybee Island.

January 2012/Roswell, New Mexico: Three homeless cats and a roaming Chihuahua named Mimi were shot to death. Mimi was shot with a .22 caliber round, one cat was killed with a pellet gun, and two cats died after being shot with a BB gun.

January 2012/Phoenix, Arizona: A feral cat feeder, who claimed to be socializing feral kittens by keeping them in an outdoor hutch, found them and several other cats dead, likely from poisoning. A neighbor claimed that her cat, who is allowed outside to roam, was missing and that another cat had been found “severely burned” just weeks before.

January 2012/Little Rock, Arkansas: A cat allowed to roam outdoors was found dead on his or her doorstep. The cat’s head had been badly “bashed in,” and graffiti had been spray-painted across the animal’s side.

January 2012/Virginia Beach, Virginia: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised reportedlyhad to be euthanized after being stabbed and then having bleach poured into his wounds.

November 2011/Honolulu, Hawaii: Two cats with barbed darts “embedded into their bodies” were found by the feral cat colony “caretaker” who had been feeding them. One of the animals could barely walk. The caretaker said at least four cats were injured, and more were either dead or hiding and suffering with injuries, because fewer cats have been showing up to eat.

October 2011/Tampa, Florida: Hillsborough County Animal Services was investigating at least three separate poisoning cases of homeless cats in Tampa. A man who was reportedly frustrated with homeless cats for damaging his strawberry plants was suspected of poisoning at least four of the animals, who ate from bowls filled with pellets of rat poison mixed with canned cat food and treats. In another part of town, six cats died after eating cat food soaked in radiator fluid. In the third case, frustrated neighbors reportedly used mothballs to poison cats in a colony registered with the county.

October 2011/Santa Fe, New Mexico: The bodies of more than a dozen feral cats who were being fed behind a strip mall were found strewn about the parking lot after being intentionally fed rat poison.

October 2011/East Pikeland Township, Pennsylvania: Cats throughout East Pikeland Township were shot with arrows and beaten to death. At least nine cats died from the attacks.

October 2011/Port Chester, New York: A pellet from a pellet gun was found lodged in the neck of a homeless cat who reportedly “hangs around” a Port Chester neighborhood.

October 2011/Baltimore, Maryland: A badly burned homeless cat required euthanasia after being set on fire. According to a news report, “several other stray cats could be found in the trash-strewn alley” where the cat was found on fire.

September 2011/South Bend, Indiana: According to a news report, a trap-neuter-release advocate stopped returning cats to the streets after a cat she was feeding was shot with a pellet gun and became partially paralyzed. A television news story also reported that some people in the neighborhood said that they “don’t think anybody should be punished severely for shooting one of the feral cats that they say are a nuisance.”

August 2011/Honolulu, Hawaii: Three feral cats were shot to death with a pellet gun, and several more were injured.

August 2011/Oregon City, Oregon: Six cats were found dead in one two-block area in the city. Veterinary examinations determined that the cats were poisoned with antifreeze, which is often mixed with cat food by angry residents and animal abusers.

July 2011/Cumberland, Maryland: Approximately 20 cats were killed with a corrosive poison that melted the paper plates that were used to set out the poison for the cats, who were part of a large “managed” colony being fed at Constitution Park.

June 2011/Lawrence, Kansas: A homeless cat was trapped and shot twice at a Lawrence residence.

June 2011/Clark County, Washington: Joyriding teenagers shot at least 100 cats before being arrested. The cats were shot with a .22 caliber rifle that belonged to one of the teens’ parents.

May 2011/Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania: The “caretaker” of a colony of feral cats reported that the animals were being poisoned and shot with BB guns, apparently by neighbors who “were tired of them being in their yard, digging up and going under their trailers.”

May 2011/Lancaster County, Nebraska: A skittish so-called “barn cat” was shot with an arrow. The barn owner said, “My husband found her, and the arrow was through her. And her intestines were out, and she was alive.”

May 2011/Wailuku, Hawaii: A band of four partiers shot and killed three feral cats with bows and arrows at Iao Valley State Park. The cats were being fed by a local woman who left them outdoors unprotected.

April 2011/Santa Cruz, California: A Santa Cruz couple came to the conclusion that cats are safer indoors after their cat, Max, came home with an arrow shot straight through his head.

April 2011/Dover, New Hampshire: A resident found a cat in her carport who was badly injured by an arrow that had been shot into the animal’s stomach. The cat had reportedly suffered horribly. The animal’s owner was found and reported that the cat had “been missing” for about four days.

March 2011/Dunnellon, Florida: Neighbors who had been feeding a stray cat assumed that he belonged to someone. But after he was shot in the chest with a bow and arrow, it was clear that he was homeless. The frightened and injured cat roamed the neighborhood with an arrow skewering his midsection for more than a week until he was able to be captured in a large dog trap (cat traps were too small to fit both cat and arrow). By the time he was admitted to a veterinary hospital, he was in critical condition.

February 2011/Afton, Tennessee: WBIR Television reported that three teens went on a shooting spree for more than six hours, resulting in the deaths of 12 cats living in a large “managed colony.”



Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology during the last 25 years demonstrate that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. The FBI has recognized this connection since the 1970s, when its analysis of the lives of serial killers suggested that most had killed or tortured animals as children. Other research shows consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse and elder abuse.

  • Patrick Sherrill, who killed 14 coworkers at a post office and then shot himself, had a history of stealing local pets and allowing his own dog to attack and mutilate them.
  • Earl Kenneth Shriner, who raped, stabbed, and mutilated a 7-year-old boy, had been widely known in his neighborhood as the man who put firecrackers in dogs’ rectums and strung up cats.
  • Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had impaled dogs’ heads, frogs, and cats on sticks.
  • Brenda Spencer, who opened fire at a San Diego school, killing two children and injuring nine others, had repeatedly abused cats and dogs, often by setting their tails on fire.
  • Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler” who killed 13 women, trapped dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows through the boxes in his youth.
  • Carroll Edward Cole, executed for five of the 35 murders of which he was accused, said his first act of violence as a child was to strangle a puppy.
  • In 1987, three Missouri high school students were charged with the beating death of a classmate. They had histories of repeated acts of animal mutilation starting several years earlier. One confessed that he had killed so many cats he’d lost count. Two brothers who murdered their parents had previously told classmates that they had decapitated a cat.
  • High school killers such as 15-year-old Kip Kinkel in Springfield, Ore., and Luke Woodham, 16, in Pearl, Miss., tortured animals before embarking on shooting sprees.
  • Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who shot and killed 12 classmates before turning their guns on themselves, bragged about mutilating animals to their friends.



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