Last Thursday, I stood with a five-pound weight in my hand, giving a television interview to explain how someone killed a cat in an unimaginable, sadistic way.
By now, you’ve heard the gruesome details.
Someone tied the weight around a cat’s neck using zip ties, then tossed the cat into a shallow lagoon in Redwood Shores; less than two feet of water, which meant the cat scratched and fought for his life for minutes before giving up and drowning.
A Redwood City Sewer Department worker brought the deceased cat to The Peninsula Human Society/SPCA Wednesday afternoon. We determined the cat, a black and white male (mostly black with a white bib and boots) with no identification was approximately 12 years old, and had been in the water 2-3 days. Our staff reviewed lost cat reports filed at PHS/SPCA and scoured Craigslist postings to see if we could find a possible match and contact the owner.
Next, we announced a $1,000 reward for anyone who provided information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this horrific act.
By Sunday, that reward grew to $8,500.
Our lead veterinarian conducted a necropsy and initial findings told us what we expected: that the cat was alive before he drowned. This will make the case a felony act of animal cruelty given the obvious intent to cause harm and suffering.
All week, we heard from reporters, volunteers, staff, and local residents who called with words of support, anger, fear and sadness.
“The only thing that makes me feel OK now is thinking about what I would do to this SOB if I found him,” said one reporter.
“I don’t even like cats and this sickens me,” said a friend.
“Many serial killers started by torturing small animals, then cats,” noted several people.
A Redwood Shores resident with three black and white cats of her own said she felt sick to her stomach upon reading about this.
Fortunately, these cases are rare. I’ve seen less than 10 with this degree of maliciousness in my 13-plus years with the PHS/SPCA. I mean, I’m even thinking the person who did this chose a shallow part of the lagoon just to see the cat struggle.
That’s how sick this person is.
Our reward, I’m guessing will grow. It could reach $10,000 by Monday. Somebody knows something and this can only help.
It is with cases like this that we often see the best and the worst of humanity.
People who’ve never owned a cat, and who don’t even live in our area will contribute to the reward fund or offer words of support. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few people visit our new Lantos Center in Burlingame and adopt the few 10-to-12-year-old cats available for adoption. These stories move people in many different ways.
The low-life who did this likely told someone about it. They may have even had a friend with them. Who knows, they could have tweeted about it, posted something on their Facebook page, or spouted off in a bar. And $10,000 is a lot of money to turn in someone who probably isn’t much of a friend, or human being, anyway.
Then, our Investigations Department, funded entirely by generous donations, can bring our case to the District Attorney’s Office, which I’m certain will punish this person to the fullest extent of the law. Their track record indicates they will.
For now, it’s all about leads and tips. If your cat matches this description and has gone missing, or if you have any information that might be helpful in our investigation, please call 650-340-7022, ext. 384.
And if you would like to contribute to the Reward Fund or help the PHS/SPCA continue perform this vital anti-cruelty work with a donation, please call 650-340-7022, ext. 327.
The animals depend on us.