COLORADO – A dozen neighborhood cats have recently died or simply disappeared in the downtown area of a Colorado community, and business owners are turning to police for help because they suspect foul play, CBS Denver station KCNC-TV has reported.
“These cats of Main Street had a home,” stated Sarah Hughes, who works nearby.
A very long row of white crosses covers two blocks along Main Street in Arlington. Each one of these crosses represents a feral cat that has either gone missing or has been found dead in recent weeks. Hughes stopped next to a cross with the word “missing”, which had been crossed out. It has been replaced with “R.I.P.”
“This was one of our missing momma cats,” Hughes stated. “We found her deceased under one of these businesses.”
For more than ten years, the community of business owners and employees along Main Street has cared for the colony of feral cats that call the area home. They make sure that the cats always have plenty of food and water. And, through its trap-neuter-return program, the Friends of Arlington Animal Shelter has also ensured that the cats are vaccinated and spayed or neutered.
Hughes explained that the cats even provide a service to their community, helping keep the rodent population down.
However, in the past two weeks, the cats have stopped coming around to visit their food bowls. Neighbors have reported finding a dozen of them dead and many more still missing. Suspecting foul play, one business owner has filed a police report.
Neighbors are saying that threats had previously been made by someone in the community.
“Something to the effect like ‘What would you do if your cats came up missing or dead?’” Hughes stated.
Neighbors also noticed that the food in their cat bowls had recently been changed, leading people to believe the food may have been tampered with.
“I’m pretty sure they’re poisoning,” Hughes stated. “They’re either putting rat poison in, antifreeze, which is really easy to get.”
With less than a handful of cats remaining – perhaps just two – the group that cares for them is afraid that they will continue having to add new crosses to an already long row on Main Street.
“Why would someone even do that? I mean, they weren’t bothering anybody,” Hughes stated. “They’re well taken care of.”
This particular community of downtown Arlington neighbors has also started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for a large reward. It is being offered for any information that leads to the arrest of whoever is responsible for killing the cats.