SEATTLE - As Jonathan Lawson approaches his home on the sidewalk, he feels a painful sense of absence. Something he and his neighborhood loved is gone.
“She was a homebody," said Lawson. “We lost a very dear member of our family, that's who Cora was to us."
Cora was his family's beloved cat. She was a friendly fixture in his neighborhood, approaching each person as they passed by.
Last week someone took Cora, tortured her and left her hanging lifeless from a fence eight blocks away.
On Saturday morning an animal control officer with the city of Seattle identified Cora from an imbedded microchip. “The officer who spoke with us said she never saw anything like this," Lawson said. “Nobody we talked to had seen anything like this.”
When KIRO 7 went to the neighborhood where Cora was found — at 42nd and Bateman -- neighbors were given fliers showing the only clue: a chain and rope leash used to hang the cat.
But neighbor Paul George explained what appears to be a crime pattern in the area. He said pets are being stolen right out of the owners’ yards, in broad daylight. Three of George’s Chihuahuas were taken from his yard. The last theft was last month; George said others have reported the same crime to Seattle police.
“We did everything we could to find them,” he said. “We put up fliers, we checked Craigslist, we searched all the local dog pounds, nothing."
Investigators don’t know if Cora the cat’s mutilation is related, but police consider Cora's cruelty serious because they said it’s typically a pattern crime. The Seattle Humane Society is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the cat's killer. Lawson says the person who took Cora needs to understand the torment he and his neighborhood are feeling now.
“We can't stop imagining what she must've gone through. It's an animal that's an important part of my family, who I know very well and it's impossible to stop imagining what could have happened to her."
Anyone with information about this crime of animal cruelty is asked to call Seattle Animal Shelter Manager of Field Services Ann Graves at 206-386-4288 and refer to case number 14-16660.
“Someone knows who did this,” Graves said. “We need the help of the community to find the person responsible for this disturbing and brutal act of violence.”