FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Police have arrested a 24-year-old Fort Collins man on an animal cruelty charge after they say he killed a cat in his home, and now they are investigating other reports of animals that have gone missing in that area to determine if they could be connected.
Officers were called out to Bryan Hackleman’s home in the 2400 block of Stanford Road on a report of animal abuse Wednesday, and police said they found a dead cat inside his home with signs of abuse.
Hackleman, who has been a CSU graduate student in Mechanical Engineering, was arrested on a charge of aggravated animal cruelty, but was not charged in any other cases.
However, police say several other cats have gone missing in the area surrounding his home and they are asking anyone with further information about those disappearances or about Hackleman to call Detective Adam Braun at 970-221-6580 or Larimer County Crime Stoppers at 970-221-6868.
"We've received inquiries from people around Ft. Collins whose animals have gone missing," said Kate Kimble, a spokeswoman for Ft. Collins police. "This investigation is currently focused on the neighborhoods immediately surrounding Stanford Road."
Meanwhile, several stop signs in the neighborhood carry missing cat posters, including one for Cara Randa's cat Zappo.
"I thought it was raccoons. I thought it was foxes. I never suspected it to be a person," said Randa, who recently learned four cats have gone missing on her street. "Some of our neighbors actually saw somebody take a cat. He just drove up to a cat walking down the road and picked it up and threw it in his car."
Meanwhile, another neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, is encouraging neighbors to keep their pets inside.
"I honestly wouldn't let your animals out right now in this neighborhood," she said.