Local residents and businesses have put up $5,000 and the HSUS has added another $2,500 for the identification and apprehension of the man seen on CCTV snatching a cat later found dead. Several cats have gone missing from the normally safe and quiet neighborhood, with two others found dead.
The cat seen being snatched on the video was named biscuit. She was happily stretched out lounging on top of a car on the evening of August 8 when another car drove up and stopped. A man is seen going over to Biscuit, petting her, and then grabbing her and taking off. Biscuit was nearly unrecognizable when found.
Neighborhood Block Watch Captain Ben Smith says he wants the man in the surveillance video to know that there are people patrolling their neighborhood 24/7 and that if he comes back, he will be caught. The catnappings have occurred in the area near the intersection of Baseline and Alma School Roads.
Neighborhood residents are keeping a close watch on both their cats and their children while the human predator remains on the loose, demonstrating that it has become commonly understood that people who hurt animals will also hurt other people.
News release from the HSUS:
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for stealing and abusing cats in the Mesa, Ariz., area.
The Case: News reports give the following account: As many as 12 cats are believed to be missing in Mesa. In one reported case, video surveillance shows a man driving up to a pet cat, petting the animal and then grabbing him. Three deceased cats have all been found in the same location under suspicious circumstances, indicating possible abuse.
Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.
“Disturbing doesn’t even begin to describe the fact that at least one person lured and took a pet cat like a stranger with candy. And the notion that at least 12 cats are believed missing and three are dead under potentially similar circumstances is gut-wrenching,” said Kari Nienstedt, Arizona state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “We urge Mesa residents to exercise caution by keeping their cats indoors—the safest place for them—and hope that our reward brings forward anyone with information about this heinous crime.”