A predatory animal killed two of the cats found mutilated recently in Lakeland, according to an animal pathologist at the University of Florida.
The cats’ carcasses were examined by veterinary forensic pathologist Nanny Wenzlow, according to Lakeland police. The report did not say what kind of predator, but DNA samples were taken, and those results should be returned in three to four weeks, police said.
The remains of three cats found mutilated were sent to Gainesville this month for an examination, police said.
The remains were found in recent weeks in the front yards of homes in the Lake Hollinsworth area. Two of the cats appeared to be cut in half behind the front legs, according to a police report. A third had a large circular hole in its side, police spokesman Gary Gross said.
Previously, a Lakeland veterinarian analyzed one of the animals and told police it was likely dismembered by a knife or sharp object, and not by another animal.
The remains of the first cat were found March 5 on the 1400 block of Newport Avenue, the police report said. The owner said two other cats of his also went missing that day. The back half of the cat was found the next day about two blocks away, the report said.
Then, the front half of a cat’s body was found on the 1400 block of Easton Drive, police said. That cat’s owner lives on the 2400 block of Newport Avenue, about two blocks away. Another mutilated cat was found a day later about a half-mile away on Brook Lane, police said.