Cats likely dead before being dumped in Phoenix canal

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

UPDATE: Wednesday, Oct. 14

PHOENIX -- The cats that were found in a Phoenix canal on Tuesday most likely were dead before they were dumped.

Dr. Leo Egar, a veterinarian with the Arizona Humane Society, said the cats did not have collars, tags or microchips. He believes all of them were strays and were dead before they were dumped in the canal.

Egar estimates the cats were in the water two to three days and in that time their bodies had decomposed severely, making it hard to tell how the cats died.

"We have not determined a cause of death," Egar said.

ORIGINAL STORY:

PHOENIX -- Someone made a gruesome discovery in a Phoenix canal on Tuesday.

Twenty dead cats were pulled from the water. Some of them appeared to be mutilated.

Now police need help finding whoever is responsible. At first it was unsure how many cats were found in the water until police started fishing them out.
At the top of a waterfall was an awful discovery made by a Salt River Project employee. He found what appeared to be several floating cats.

Sgt. Trent Crump, with the Phoenix Police Department, "It's not with concept that they can follow each other in, but it's highly unlikely at this point."

Sgt. Crump tells 3TV they fished out 20 dead cats (15 adults and 5 kittens). They are all believed to have been dumped somewhere in the canal between 19th Avenue and 29th Avenue just north of Dunlap.

Stacie Dabolt, with the Humane Society, says, "In the six years I've been doing this I haven't seen this exact situation where they're dumping them into the canals."

Dabolt was called in to haul the cats away. It was first believed some of them were mutilated but after Dabolt examined them. She says, "We're also going to try and do a necropsy on one or two of them to find out if they actually have water in the lungs."

Dabolt says none of the cats have identification tags or collars, therefore she believes they are strays and possibly trapped and then disposed of.

Sgt. Crump says, "What we will figure out is how they got in here and hopefully with it we can get some help and some information from people we'll get closer to that."

Police are asking if you happen to see anything in the past couple of days along the canal that might have had something to do with this, please call them.   

If it turns out someone did dump these cats. That person could face 20 felony counts of animal cruelty.