ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Concerns continue to rise over dead cats in Pinellas County. Neighbors said earlier this month they feared someone was killing the animals. And even though police have received more reports since a report on ABC Action News, they stress, there's still no evidence to back up those claims, but it's raised another major issue.
A Pinellas County man did not want to show his face. He's still rattled on what he found steps from his front door.
"Someone cut it in half," he said.
A cat, on his lawn. He decided to call St. Pete police after a plea he saw on Action News from another woman who found her beloved pet, Skipper, dead in her yard.
Related: St. Pete woman convinced someone dismembered her cat, police blame coyotes
Like her, he's convinced someone did it on purpose.
"The way was cut up. It was like some to take a machete," said the man.
But, Sgt. Gabe Lopez said there's no evidence to back up claims someone mutilated the animals. But, said the police department is getting a lot more calls. And it boils down to:
"Facebook, Next-Door, Social media. We have tried to avoid some of that by putting out some information. But obviously it has not worked so far," said Sgt. Lopez.
And that is a concern for police. They don't want panic based on stories that can't be substantiated. Since our story earlier this month, they've looked deeper and now, "There is a department-wide memorandum reminding every officer that if an animal cruelty call comes out and they determined it to be suspicious to follow procedures," said Sgt. Lopez.
We checked, and animal services does report more coyotes in St. Petersburg, while FWC has not seen an uptick recently. The best thing to do is just make the call to authorities.
"At first I was not going to do it," said the man who found the cat.
And while this resident, like Skipper's owner, won't change their mind. The Sergeant reassures residents they are on top of it and committed to protecting their citizens.
"That is our priority," said Sgt. Lopez.