The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Animal Crimes Division is warning cat owners in the east valley communities of Mesa, Tempe, Chandler and East Phoenix that someone appears to be intentionally inflicting severe injuries to domestic cats. More than 14 cats have been found dead or dying, with long deep stab wounds along the back of each cat. 2 of the injured cats died and other required extensive veterinary care.
"We need help to find these perpetrators. At this point in our investigation, we have no leads and no suspects. But someone out there knows who is doing this and we need that person to contact us with the information," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been labeled for some years as "America’s Toughest Sheriff" by the media.
Because each of the cats has suffered from the same wounds, the Sheriff’s department believes that all the cases are linked. However, they do not believe that they represent satanic activity, despite the proximity to Halloween. In October 1998, the Sheriff’s department arrested a 17-year-old boy who belonged to a satanic cult and who was believed to be responsible for 13 cat deaths in the Ahwatukee area.
"Keep your cats indoors," Arpaio continued. "It’s better for cats for a variety of health reasons not the least of which is the fact that there is a sick person on the loose right now looking to harm them."
"Anyone who is capable of maiming or killing cats like this can pose a danger to people," said Kari Nienstedt, The Arizona state director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), who are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.