By Jack Johnson, Boulder City Review
A recent string of apparent human-caused cat deaths and mutilations has led the police to execute a search warrant at the residence of a local teenager, the police confirmed Wednesday.
Police Chief Thomas Finn said Wednesday no arrests have been made but the department is waiting on the results from forensics.
Finn said a computer and tools were taken from the home of the teen, who is currently the only suspect.
According to police dispatch reports, half of a cat’s body was found at Boulder City High School on Oct. 29, and another dead cat was found at the high school on Nov. 3.
A mutilated cat also was found at the Garrett Junior High School campus over a month ago, according to Principal Jamey Hood.
A graphic photo obtained by the Boulder City Review from a local teenager’s Facebook page depicts the front half of a black and white cat lying in grass, and is believed to have been taken at one of the schools.
Because the deaths are part of an ongoing investigation, Finn said the department is withholding information on exactly how many cats have been killed and how far back the killings go.
But while some of the cats appeared to be the victims of a coyote, “quite a few” appeared to be mutilated by a human being, Finn said.
Neither of the city’s local veterinary clinics, Boulder City Animal Hospital or The Greatful Pet, have received firsthand information about the deaths so could not say to whom the cats belonged or in what neighborhoods they lived.
However, owners of both veterinary clinics said that human-caused cat mutilations are not entirely abnormal and are usually caused by youths.
“Typically, when you see something like this it’s going to be a group of teenagers,” said Randy Stanton, owner of the Boulder City Animal Hospital.
Stanton also said the fact that the cats’ bodies are ending up at the schools is a sign it may be teens.
“If it is being isolated around the school, you think it would be related to some teenagers who want shock value at the school,” he said.
William Flannery, owner of The Greatful Pet, said cats tend to be killed by humans more often around Halloween.
“In prior years and other places I’ve lived, around Halloween time, for whatever reason, there seem to be kids or adults who like to hack up a bunch of cats,” he said.
Flannery said he recommends that people keep their cats indoors at all times.
“I know everyone likes to have their outdoor kitties but there are a lot of bad things that happen outside at night and we just recommend they stay indoors,” he said.