A Cat Badly Injured Saturday Had Neighbors Worried About a Sadist But EPD Animal Control Officer Says There Is No Proof the Injury Was Caused by a Human
The story of a cat being skinned alive crept through the animal-loving community this weekend. The possibility of the animal having been tortured had pet owners keeping their cats inside. However, the Eureka Police Department Animal Control officer, Celeste Villarreal, explained, “I don’t want the animal community to panic. There is no proof that this was caused by a human or even intentional….According to the vet, it could have been caused by the cat being stuck in a fan belt or in a garage door.”
The incident began Saturday afternoon when Kimberly Bryant heard “screaming in the neighborhood.” She and her roommate “looked out the window and we saw the cat…It was shocking.” Neighbors were standing around horrified.
Large sections of the cat’s skin had been pulled off. “Everyone was like someone did something to the cat. The way the cuts were…we thought it was a human who had done it.”
The photos of the cat are here but please consider not viewing them as they are quite graphic.
Bryant’s roommate captured the cat. “We got it in a carry-on and took it to the vet,” she said. “It wasn’t even meowing. It seemed like it was in shock.”
The owners of the cat didn’t have much money, said Bryant. “It was horrid…. We had to make a decision if we wanted to pay for it or do a humane euthanization. I agreed to pay for half,” she said. However, in the end, another neighbor fronted the money for everything that needed to be done immediately.
“It was wonderful,” Bryant said. “They said they had been in the position before where they hadn’t been able to get their animals the vet care they needed.”
There is still a need for follow-up care though. If anyone would like to help, they can call Sunny Brae Animal Clinic at (707) 822-5124 and ask to add money to Kimberly Bryant’s account. “If there is money left over, it is going to go to help other animals when their owners can’t afford care,” she explained.
Bryant says that she has heard that there is no evidence that the cat was injured by a human. She hopes that is true. “I’d rather be wrong and that it was something else,” she said. “It really makes me nervous there could be someone out there could just do this.”
Animal Patrol Officer Villarreal said there is no need for animal lovers to “run around in a panic that there is an animal sadist.” She pointed out, “There is no proof [the cat’s skin] was cut; it could have been torn…In my experience as a groomer, that is the way that cat skin will tear.” She explained the phenomenon is called being “degloved.”
“There is zero evidence that it was done by a human,” she said. Nonetheless, she said, “There is a chance it was intentional…The biggest thing that can help is if everyone keeps their ear open. If it was something that was done by a human than we want to be aware.” The incident occurred near 13th and F Streets in Eureka on Saturday afternoon. If you have any information about this incident or another that you think deserves attention, please call 441-4327 to speak to Villarreal.
A community member has offered a $1000 reward should there be information that leads to the arrest of someone that did this.