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Dead Cats Being Found With Their Spines Removed

Thurston County, Washington, is up to 7 such deaths
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2018 9:20 AM CDT
Don't hurt this cat.   (Getty Images/byakkaya)

(Newser) – Something macabre is afoot in Washington's Thurston County. Seven cats have been found killed and mutilated there in recent months, and brutally so. Q13 cites Animal Services Officer Erika Johnson as describing the "extremely horrific" methodology: The animals were sliced from their stern to their genitals, and their spines had been taken from them. Johnson tells KIRO 7 the cats had been strangled and surgically cut with a knife, but not in a professional manner. One cat was reportedly cut in half, per the Olympian. The seventh death occurred early Sunday morning; in an interview with Q13, Kathy Harrigan described feeding the elderly feral cat she had tended to for the past two years around midnight.

When she awoke, he wasn't at her door per usual. But later, someone else was: the police. Harley's mutilated body had been found in her neighbor's West Olympia yard. Harley's was the sixth known death this year, with a seventh from October believed to also be connected. But it's the second in just a 48-hour period. Olly was found Friday morning, and Johnson says it's believed that cat may have fought its attacker; samples from her claws are being submitted for DNA analysis. Pasado's Safe Haven and a local newscaster are offering a $3,000 reward in connection with the case. (Read more animal cruelty stories.)

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