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Humane Society looks into cat deaths

By Randy Kalp
OCEANSIDE — The San Diego Humane Society launched an investigation recently into the death of two cats that occurred on the same Oceanside street within weeks of one another, a spokesperson with the organization said July 12.
At the prompting of a North County veterinarian, the San Diego Humane Society has teamed with the Oceanside Police Department to investigate the suspicious death of two cats that occurred in June on Morningside Drive, said Candice Eley, a public relations coordinator at the organization.
“Our investigators’ initial thoughts are that it is a predatory animal like a coyote,” Eley said. “But they want to take a thorough look at everything involved before they make their determination.”
Eley said investigators have a number of different tools to determine the cause of an animal’s death, such as utilizing the help of veterinarians as well as detailed forensic examinations.
The Oceanside Police Department is looking into the case; however, no further information was immediately available, said Lt. Leonard Mata, a spokesperson with the department.
Shirley Knox, who found her cat, Stormy, dead on the side of her home June 8, said she was shocked when she found the 16-year-old male cut in half and surrounded by a circle of his fur. “I had to pick him up in two pieces,” she said.
Knox, 74, said she got Stormy from a friend who passed away four years ago. “He was just really affectionate; really loving, with a loud purr,” she said. Knox said Stormy would come in and out during the evening through a dog door, but never stayed out for extended periods.
After examining Stormy, Knox’s veterinarian, Dr. Cecila Morris, recommended they contact the authorities because of the nature of the wound. In addition to being sliced cleanly in half, Knox said Morris told her most of Stormy’s organs had been removed. Further, Knox said she found it strange that there was no blood around her cat’s body when she found him.
Knox said she heard about another cat that had been found dead June 21 on her same street. While she didn’t see that cat, she heard from a witness that its neck had been slashed.
Eley said she couldn’t comment on the details of either cats’ death because the animals had already been removed from the area where they were found. However, she said it’s not uncommon for people to discover cats or other small pets that have been badly mutilated by another animal, which is why she said it is crucial to keep pets indoors at night, even cats.
With no immediate answers, Knox, who initially kept Stormy indoors, but then relented, said she is now plagued by one question, “Why did I let him go out at night?”