It was clear to Kaleigh Barteski that the badly mutilated cat found under a tree in Sable Park Monday night had not been attacked by a coyote or hit by a car.
“What I found was not an accident and it was not a wild animal and it was terrible,” she said. “This was definitely something that was done to that cat.”
Barteski is the second person in the city to have recently stumbled upon a mutilated feline. Another cat was found two days earlier, on Aug. 22, in a field near Elmer S. Gish school in the Akinsdale neighbourhood. Sable Park is located near Salisbury Avenue. The distance between the two locations is a four-minute drive, or 20-minute walk.
In both events, no one saw what happened to the cats, and in at least one case, only some of the remains have been found. But the RCMP is investigating and hopes residents can help identify whoever is mutilating the animals.
“At this point, it doesn’t appear like this is an issue of another animal coming into contact with these cats,” said Cst. Yelena Avoine. She added that the RCMP wants the owners of cats and small pets to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons or activity.
Barteski said she has since made contact with the owners of the cat she found. They told her that the male was an indoor cat that went missing from its home a few days earlier.
They found out about its death when she posted her story online as a warning to other pet owners. She added that there have been other reports this month of cats found mutilated in north Edmonton. But no one knows if the attacks are related.
“People need to know that this happening because you have to protect your pets,” she said. “It’s an absolute shame to know that someone has done this to these poor little animals.”
Misti Lantz, a certified lost pet locator in St. Albert, said she also noticed that more cats have gone missing in recent months.
While it is not unusual for pets to run off, these animals disappeared without any reports of people seeing them walking around their neighbourhoods or hiding in their backyards. She also stressed that many of the missing pets were indoor cats, which tend to stay closer to home.
“I am not saying that it’s unusual for a missing cat to not be seen but not this many,” she said.
Lantz advises people keep their cats safe by not letting them roam outside the home or by walking them on a leash. Pets should also get micro-chipped, which makes it easier to identify them when they go missing, she said.
People with lost pets can send a message to her Facebook page, St. Albert Pet Place, where she posts their photos and information. She offers a reward for cats that are returned to their owners.
The St. Albert RCMP asks that anyone with information about the two mutilated cats and the person or persons involved in this crime contact them at 780-458-7700, or if you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).