Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mutilations of cats worry North Pinellas animal lovers

PALM HARBOR — Cats die all the time. What happened to Cisco, an amiable black-and-white feline known to roam the streets of the Noell Heights subdivision, was something else.

Cisco was murdered.

That's the view of Penny Soben, Cisco's owner, who on May 26 found out her 7-year-old cat had been discovered dead by a neighbor.

Cisco was lying on a lawn with his abdomen sliced open from chest to tail. His entrails had been entirely removed, Soben said. There were also marks on Cisco's neck, indicating he had been hanged before he was eviscerated.

"All you could see was his spinal cord," Soben said. "There was no blood, no guts, no nothing. Whoever it was took all that stuff with him."

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is investigating Cisco's death as an animal-cruelty case, spokesperson Cecilia Barreda said. But what has animal lovers in North Pinellas worried is that this is the third reported instance of cat mutilation in the area in about two months.

In late April, the Suncoast Animal League informed the Sheriff's Office that two kittens with bizarre injuries had been found in Dunedin. Rick Chaboudy, the organization's executive director, said one cat was discovered in a garbage can with its tail hacked off. In an odd touch, Band-Aids had been applied to the stump.

Another kitten, a male, was found with its genitals partially cut off.

Both animals were rescued, received medical treatment and were later adopted, Chaboudy said. While the incidents took place separated by weeks and in separate, albeit neighboring, communities, fear remains that the gruesome attacks could be the work of one person.

Chaboudy even cited the notion that pathological killers of human beings get started on animal victims.

"This is highly unusual," Chaboudy said. "It's a very scary situation, because this is probably not the first time they're doing something like this. It's just escalated to a higher level. That's where your serial killers come from."

Maria Caceres, who lives next door to Soben, said she worries that the cats at her own home could be in danger, or even some of the neighborhood's children.

"We're very scared that the person lives in the neighborhood," she said.

The Sheriff's Office has appealed to the public for any information about the animal mutilations. In the meantime, Soben has put the brakes on plans to familiarize her two remaining kittens with the outdoors.

"I'm not letting them out at all," she said. "I'm freaked out."

Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Mutilations of cats worry North Pinellas animal lovers 06/01/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 1, 2012 8:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humilation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry announced crowd of 24,325 at Raymond James Stadium.

    Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings