CAMBRIDGE (CBS/AP) — The MSPCA has increased a reward to $2,500 for information that leads to the conviction of whoever killed a cat found with its legs bound with masking tape and suffering from 11 BB gun wounds. Further investigation shows the cat’s death may not have been an isolated incident.
The animal was found last Thursday under a car by Cambridge animal control responding to a report of a crying cat. By the time animal control arrived at the scene, the mostly black, young male cat had already died, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said in a statement Monday.READ MORE: Worcester City Council Approves Pension Petition For Officer Manny Familia's Family
A necropsy at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston found that the cat had 11 BB wounds on its face and body, including one that punctured its lung and is believed to have caused the death.
The cat, named Gosha, had disappeared from outside its owners’ home in Cambridge on May 4.
“This is definitely a very personal and violent act – what was done to Gosha,” said Officer Nadya Moreno of the MSPCA.
Gosha’s owner, Francisco Rosales, and his wife posted flyers around their neighborhood when the cat went missing.
“We’re devastated, and we cannot believe that something like this could happen to our cat, and our fear is that whoever killed Gosha could do this to someone else’s pet,” Rosales said. “We urge anyone who may have information about who did this to please call the investigators.”
Pathologist Pam Mouser said what she found during a necropsy of Gosha was “shocking.” In addition to the fatal BB gun wounds and bound legs, a large portion of the cat’s fur was missing.
“This case is a particularly disturbing as the cat was not only shot numerous times, but was also purposefully bound with tape and ultimately left to die from his injuries,” said Dr. Mouser.
“When they removed the cat they noticed it’s back feet had been taped or bound with masking tape,” Moreno added.
The MSPCA said there are “striking similarities” between what happened to Gosha and what happened to two other cats in recent months.
A cat was let out by its owners just before midnight March 3. The cat’s owner returned home around 8:30 a.m. and found her pet had suffered multiple BB guns. The cat survived and the incident was reported to Cambridge Police.READ MORE: Seekonk Middle Schoolers Wrote Anti-Semitic, Racist Messages In Students' Yearbooks
A third cat named Buddy went missing in early May and returned home on May 5 with burns. The MSPCA said post-mortem testing on Gosha confirmed he suffered from chemical or thermal burns.
“Buddy is so fortunate to be recovering from very, very bad injuries inflicted by a deeply, deeply troubled person,” owner Craig Garvin.
Buddy, an 8-year-old striped tortie, was wearing an ID collar but it was missing when she returned home. Similarly, Gosha was wearing a collar when he disappeared but it was missing when his body was discovered.
The similarities have other Cambridge pet owners raising money for a reward for information.
“When you hear about behavior like this you wonder what else this type of person could be capable of,” said neighbor Jane Morgan.
Meanwhile, Buddy’s devastated owner still sends a compassionate message to the person who did this.
“Please come back and be a human being. This isn’t how we are. You’re not like this. You can be different. Please find a way to be different,” Garvin added.
The Cambridge Animal Commission is encouraging any cat owners in the area to keep their pets indoors.
Anyone with information is asked to call either the MSPCA or Cambridge police.
Animal cruelty is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000 in Massachusetts.MORE NEWS: State Lawmakers Vote To Extend Some Pandemic Policies Including Outdoor Dining, To-Go Cocktails
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)