PARKLAND, Fla. (CBSMiami.com) – One cat has been found dead and nearly a dozen are missing in the upscale Meadow Run community of Parkland in Northwest Broward County.
Is the feline mystery felonious or natural in nature? That’s what the Broward County Sheriffs Office’s Special Victims Unit is investigating.
On September 14th, a black and white cat named Princess was found dead in a yard across the street from her home on Northwest 97th Drive.
A report written by a BSO deputy said the cat’s neck appeared to have been snapped, and that she was “gutted” in what was a “clean” cut. The deputy wrote that it “does not appear to have been an animal attack.”
BSO spokesperson Mike Jachles told CBS4 News’ Gary Nelson Tuesday that, “nothing has been ruled out,” but that investigators are leaning toward the “probability” that the sharp teeth of another animal disemboweled the cat.
No other cats have been found dead, although the BSO reports several have gone missing from the same neighborhood.
Among those missing is Shadow, a four-year-old, green-eyed black cat belonging to the Hengber family. Shadow was last seen last Tuesday.
“We saw this little black cat at the pet rescue and just fell in love with it,” said Greg Hengber. “We adopted her when she was about two weeks old. She’s four now, and our children have grown up with her.”
Hengber said Shadow has been an indoor-outdoor cat, going out for a few hours before coming to meow her way back inside.
“Every time now when we pass the front door, my wife, my kids, we all look there, hoping to see her out there, but she’s not.”
Last summer, dogs, cats and some goats were killed in the Parkland area. The city blamed a rogue coyote that was caught by a professional trapper.
In Miami-Dade County last year, prosecutors dropped 19 counts of cat killing against teenager Tyler Weinman. The young man had been charged with stalking and killing cats in the Palmetto Bay area, mutilating them with surgical-type instruments.
Weinman was cleared, though, after experts determined the cats were killed not by scalpels, but by other animals.
In Parkland, Greg Hengber prays that if his family’s cat, Shadow, is no longer among us she was taken by another animal, not something more sinister.
“If she was taken and tortured and mutilated, for such a sweet cat to be taken that way, that’s what tears me up inside,” Hengber said.
The BSO’s Jachles said the best way for residents to assure their pets’ safety – against two or four-legged predators – is to keep cats inside and dogs inside or in a fenced yard.