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Fourth cat-taping incident sparks concern in Nanaimo

Oct 24 2012

RCMP have stepped up their investigation after a Nanaimo cat was found bound by duct tape on Monday morning.

It was the second time Nellie, whose feet were tightly bound with brown duct tape and tail was taped to its back, had been taped.

"I went out first thing in the morning and that's when I heard her screaming," said owner Jennifer Paloposki. "When I first saw her, I thought her feet were cut off."

The cat had to be taken to the vet to be cut free.

Paloposki had been trying to keep the cat inside since Oct. 1, when Nellie was bound with green painter's tape, but the cat got out on Sunday.

"It happens. But just because she got outside doesn't give someone the right to torment my animal. Or my family," she said. "It freaked me out."

Four cat-tapings have taken place recently in the neighbourhood.

Two other cats were bound with blue duct tape Sept. 6 on nearby Poplar Street.

Officials say they are concerned about both the mindset of an individual who would target animals in such a way, as well as the potential for the situation to escalate, resulting in injury.

"It's the sign of a sick mind, and sick minds often ramp up what they do as they feel more comfortable with what they're doing," said veterinarian Dr. Ken Langelier, who treated two of the cats.

"Any time there's animal cruelty, I always suspect there's underlying psychological issues."

Nanaimo RCMP media spokesman Const. Gary O'Brien believes the incidents are connected and that more than one person may be involved.

O'Brien said police received a tip from a hardware store employee regarding a customer who bought tape like that found on Paloposki's cat.

The RCMP are working with the B.C. SPCA on the investigation.

Tina Heary, of the B.C. SPCA cruelty investigations unit, said the incidents fall under the Criminal Code of Canada and that it is an offence to cause an animal unnecessary injury, pain or suffering to an animal.

O'Brien said there is an active block-watch group in the neighbourhood that has been distributing flyers to residents.

Nanaimo RCMP ask anyone with information on who is responsible to call them at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800222-8477 (TIPS).

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