The discovery of several dismembered animals in a southern Ontario city this summer has prompted an investigation by local police, who are urging area residents to keep an eye on their pets.
The force detailed the discoveries this week, saying it was also working with the local humane society to determine what happened to the animals and what caused their death.
“It’s very disturbing and very alarming for us, as well as the neighbourhood involved,” police spokeswoman Cherri Greeno said in an interview Wednesday. “We’re taking this very seriously and appealing to the public for their help.”
Police said parts of two cats were found by the public in June, another dismembered cat was found on July 11, and parts of a fourth cat were discovered on Aug. 8. Police are still working to identify parts of three other animals that were found.
Greeno said the cases may be linked because the dismembered animals were all found in close proximity to each other and the incidents are similar in nature.
Police are asking residents to monitor their pets, bring them indoors at night and report any suspicious activity.
Greeno noted, however, that police believe whoever is dismembering the animals is likely finding ones that have gone missing or have been outside alone at night.
“There is no indication to suggest someone is going into people’s backyards or into their homes to take their family pets,” she said.
“(We’re) looking into definitely animal cruelty, whether there’s criminal intent behind what is being done.”
The incidents being investigated in Kitchener come amid similar cases in other parts of the province.
Three severed cat heads were found in an open field in July in Frankford, Ont., north of Trenton, Ont. The OSPCA said it was treating that case as suspicious.
And last year, police and the local humane society began an investigation into a potential serial animal killer in London, Ont., following the discovery of at least 17 dead animals – including three pairs of dead coyotes, posed in various public locations.