The case of two unknown men who relentlessly tortured a cat until she drowned in her own blood has sparked fears the perpetrators could turn their aggression toward people.
Animal cruelty officers were so disturbed by how the cat suffered repeated kicks and stabs -- while slowly dying as blood filled her lungs -- that the humane society gave Crime Stoppers $500 above the regular tips reward.
"It's one of the most horrific things I've seen," said field operations manager Nancy McCabe, who has worked at the humane society for 28 years. "This is extremely upsetting and I encourage anyone who has any information to please come forward and help us bring justice to these two individuals.
"This is a huge concern. It has been proven that these people graduate. Maybe the next thing they'll go after could be a child or a young adult. It's very disturbing."
McCabe said it's possible someone is missing the cat, which was three or four years old.
The long-haired orange, black and white calico had been spayed and declawed.
"Obviously someone owned this cat and they took the time and expense to have the cat spayed and declawed," said McCabe. "So it would even help if someone came forward to tell us where the cat came from."
The cat was discovered Friday in the pool area at Atkinson Park on Riverside Drive West. Someone saw two men repeatedly kicking and stabbing a plastic bag around 4 a.m. There turned out to be a cat inside. The witness called the humane society later that day around 9:30 a.m.
When McCabe set eyes on the cat's broken and bloodied corpse, she was stunned.
"The cat had numerous puncture wounds over its entire body," she said. "It was extremely disturbing to see the torture that this cat endured. I don't understand people. To do something like that to a defenceless animal is just outrageous."
An autopsy revealed that in addition to being stabbed numerous times, the cat suffered four fractured ribs while it was still alive. The human society said this case is particularly disturbing because the cat appears to have been alive throughout the attack, dying slowly as blood filled her chest.
Retired psychologist Dr. Robert Carom said such "uncontrolled violence" is a frightening sign of what the perpetrators are capable of.
"That's why parents should certainly jump whenever their children are caught doing something like that," he said. "There's no doubt this would indicate there's a very good probability he would act out anti-socially. Sometimes when they do this behaviour, they're acting out their own personal frustrations, indicating they have a lot of violence inside of them. It is definitely on the list of syndromes you look at when you're looking at potentially violent behaviour."
Carom, who has worked for Corrections Canada, said he's dealt with such offenders first-hand.
"I've certainly seen people that are highly aggressive with aggressive criminal behaviours that did this kind of thing in childhood," he said. "There was no restraint or control. And people didn't think it was that harmful because it wasn't done to a human. But quite frankly, an animal is far more vulnerable."
Crime Stoppers police co-ordinator Tim Murphy urged people to call in if they have any information about this crime or any other. No detail is too small, he said.
"Any investigation is like a big jigsaw puzzle," said Murphy. "A small piece could be the piece that solves the puzzle. No matter how minor you think it is, call it in."
The humane society's $500 will be added to the regular Crime Stoppers award, which usually ranges from $50 to $1,000, depending on the information.
You can call Crime Stoppers at 519-258-8477 or the humane society at 519-966-5751.
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