Authorities in Washington state are investigating the possibility of a serial killer — targeting cats.
ABC News reports that investigators are seeking a suspect believed to be responsible for the brutal killings of at least seven felines.
Officials from Thurston County Joint Animal Services told the news station that at least five cats have been killed since February, in addition to two other similar deaths reported by local news outlets.
Thurston County Animal Services cruelty investigator Erika Johnson told ABC News that the cats have all been killed in a similar, particularly gruesome manner: The animals were mutilated, and the suspected killer removed their spines. The killer also appears to have intentionally displayed the dead animals in places the mutilated corpses were likely to be found.
The most recent victim of the suspected feline serial killer was a deaf cat named Harley, found dead in West Olympia.
“I went to bed and then in the morning, he’s usually right there at the door waiting for me and he wasn’t there,” the deaf cat’s owner Kathy Harrigan told KCPQ. “Shortly afterwards, the police came by and asked if we were missing our cat and it turns out that he was dead on our neighbor’s lawn and had been mutilated.”
Another cat was found mutilated not far away.
Pasado Safe Haven, an animal sanctuary dedicated to ending animal cruelty, has joined a Fox News journalist to offer a $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect.
Anyone with information is urged to call 1-800-222-TIPS.