Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Probe to Come in Cat Killings Police to Assign Investigator

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Probe to Come in Cat Killings Police to Assign Investigator

Article excerpt

Byline: Jessie-Lynne Kerr, Times-Union staff writer

Jacksonville police plan to investigate the deaths of at least nine cats -- some of which were mutilated -- in an East Arlington neighborhood during the past month.

Assistant Chief Rick Townsend, zone commander for the area, said yesterday he will assign an officer to piece together different reports by residents of the Wedgewood Villas neighborhood and conduct a thorough investigation.

"We don't want these killings to continue," Townsend said.

Residents said two cats have been hanged on fences, two have been shot by pellet guns, one was stabbed multiple times, and two were skinned -- one totally and the other on its hind quarter. All of the cats were killed at night.

Townsend encouraged the neighborhood to appoint someone to attend the monthly meeting of the Sheriff's Advisory Council for the area at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Police Athletic League Building at 11751 McCormick Road.

"If we'd known about these killings a month ago," Townsend said, "an officer would have been assigned to follow up on these."

Even though residents said they called police as the dead cats were found, Townsend said a different officer probably was assigned to take each report, which would have been filed as an information report.

"An individual officer will not know of the previous reports," he said.

"At our monthly SHADCO meetings," Townsend said, "that's where the neighborhood representatives give us their concerns and we assign an officer to investigate."

Sam Howell, manager of the neighborhood's homeowners association, said the cat killings have occurred along Staffordshire Drive and Staffordshire Drive East.

Howell prepared a flier she planned to tape to the sides of the cluster mailboxes in the neighborhood yesterday that began: "Murder in our neighborhood."

The flier advises residents to keep their pets indoors and to report anything suspicious to police.

"Whoever is doing this is in need of serious help," the flier continued. …

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