$5K reward offered for arrest of person who left cat mutilated in neighborhood Mooresville park

Updated: Oct. 9, 2020 at 11:16 PM EDT
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MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Animal rescue workers say a feral cat was recently mutilated at Bellingham Park in Mooresville. His injuries so severe, the animal had to be put down.

Volunteers say the veterinarian who worked on the cat indicated the injuries came at the hands of a human.

Signs are going up all over Mooresville. A reward of $5,000 posted for the arrest of the person responsible in this case.

“We know they get into fights and there are other animals out there. There’s possums and racoons, we know what happens. But his was not an animal, I mean it was a monster,” Michele Amen said.

Michele Amen is of a special breed. She, along with several volunteers, come out every morning to Bellingham Park in Mooresville to feed and care for a colony of feral cats. They’ve been doing it for a year and a half.

“You get attached. Most of them are very loving and Hero was the lovingest,” Amen said.

Hero was part of a pack of about 20 cats who live at the park. Rescue workers say it’s become a dumping ground for the unwanted.

“We know they have no homes and were possibly just left here – dumped here.” said Jodi Collins who has been feeding the cats here for over a year.

Hero had become a favorite with those who would come and feed him. His disposition and temperament made him a real standout.

“He was a very gentle soul.” said Collins.

But when volunteers found Hero recently, it looked like he had been shaved erratically. It wasn’t until later he was found clinging to life.

Rescuers say the cat was covered in blood, partially skinned with what appeared to be burn marks on his legs. He was rushed to an animal hospital but didn’t survive.

Kristi McElfresh runs an animal rescue and was called by those who found the cat.

"The injuries were horrific, and they’re not anything you could imagine,” McElfresh said.

Upon further examination, the vet told them this was most likely done by a human.

“That never crossed my mind that it was a person doing this until we got the report back from the vet,” exclaimed Collins.

Mooresville Police in a statement say they are investigating what happened in the case, and encourage anyone with information to call in.

Leanna Dunlap is a lifelong resident. She says something needs to be done before things escalate.

"You’ve got to do something about it, we’re in a park. You know, today it’s a cat on a hill. Tomorrow, it maybe somebody’s child,” Dunlap said.

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