Last time I noted the Dallas Police Department's concerns over cat killings 'cross the city, the great Bud Kennedy of the Star-Telegram jumped in the comments and insisted, "Every 'cat mutilation' hoax nationwide has turned out to be the work of animal predators." Far as Bud's concerned, it's all the work of very precise coyotes and foxes -- no matter what police say, here or anywhere else. And, in recent years, cases have ranged far and wide, from Sacramento to Denver to Oregon to Florida.
Dallas PD heartily disagrees. Which I mention this morning only because over the weekend, an elderly neighbor of mine in Northwest Dallas found two cat legs tossed in her front yard. The Metroplex Animal Coalition got involved, Ann Margolin was notified, and officers from the Northwest Patrol Division responded this morning by collecting the pieces and taking them to the Dallas Animal Services animal-cruelty folks for a further look-see, shades of the citywide cat killings of August '09. Writes Sgt. Louis Felini, now in the NW, he assured the woman who found the cat parts that "we would do everything to find out who is responsible."
According to the police report from this weekend, "the cat legs were not mangled and appeared to have been cut by unknown cutting type instrument." DPD spokesman Senior Corporal Kevin Janse says as far as the officers are concerned for now, "a cutting instrument was definitely used. ... It's obvious when it's cut that precise. There's no way an animal can cut the legs off that cleanly."
He says no arrests have ever been made in the cases of cat mutilations, but only because "the dark of night is when they're doing it, and there's rarely any witnesses or evidence tying them to it." I also asked him about the theory floating 'round the neighborhood that this is some kind of back-to-school gang ritual: "Back in the day, we asked our gang unit if they'd ever heard of that, and they said there's never been any confirmation of that."