You don’t usually hear the term “serial” used to describe a person who has been killing and mutilating animals, but that is exactly how authorities are referring to the person they believe is responsible for at least seven killings of cats that were also mutilated either before or after they were killed. These killings are taking place in the state of Washington, and what has the citizens even more concerned than normal is that these are animals that have owners, not being of the stray variety. It is not that it is okay to mistreat a stray animal, but it is more about the fact that these animals are connected to families that are being devasted by their deaths.
The latest victim is a cat named Harley that was found on the front lawn of a home in Olympia. According to sources, the residents of the home found the cat and bagged it before they disposed of the body. While understanding that this is not a case of human homicide, it has to frustrate the case when evidence is disturbed. While the penalty for the mistreatment of animals is not as stiff as it is for humans on all levels, there are still laws in place meant to protect animals — meaning that the killing and mutilation of these cats is a punishable offense and thereby it should be adequately investigated. But when a family bags and disposes of animals before law enforcement can examine the scene they likely dispose of vital evidence that might give some indication of who is doing this.
With the current death toll of mutilated cats currently at seven, it is obvious to authorities that there is some type of pattern here. It is not clear if all of these deaths are connected, but there is to many similarities for all of these deaths to viewed as a coincidence. According to Harley’s owner, he was up in age (about 20) and he was deaf. She says that they found him in the yard a few years back and decided to take him. The fact that he had been on the streets for so long meant that he would not like being indoors, so they set him up with accommodations, including a heated space for the winter.
The fact that Harvey was death could have contributed to his death, especially if he could not hear the assailant sneak up on him. The last time that anyone saw Harvey was around midnight, but the next morning he was not in his usual place, at the door waiting for the family to wake up. A little later in the day, the police came by to find out if they were missing a cat and to tell them the bad news.
I know that there are some people who simply will not get how serious this is for people who love pets. I am a dog lover. I keep my dogs inside, and while I don’t put my dog on the same level as my wife and kids, he is just one level down. So, to hear that some sick person is just going around and randomly killing cats is disturbing.
The police in Olympia are taking these killing seriously, for a number of reasons. First of all, it is illegal to arbitrarily kill animals, especially domesticated animals. Second, there is no guarantee that the killer will no longer get the same excitement from killing animals and decided to graduate to killing humans. That is always a possibility. If the killer is a sociopath or psychopath, there will not be much in the way of the morality of empathy to stop them from doing what they are doing. Many serial killers start off with animal mutilation until it no longer satisfies their urges. This is why is immensely important to get a handle on this before it gets worse. There is currently a $3,000 aware being offered for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the killings. There are a lot of animal rights organizations getting involved in the case, including Safe Haven, which is an organization that combats animal cruelty. The organization wants to make sure that the police don’t lose interest and let this one slip through the cracks — something that could come back and bite them in the butt in a huge way.