HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Nearly a dozen cats have gone missing and then turned up “mutilated” in a Highlands Ranch neighborhood, according to the owner of one of those cats.
“We’re looking at ten cats that have gone missing in the last two weeks and either turned up mutilated or dismembered,” Dave Emge told Denver7.
Emge’s cat, Mowgli, got out of the house earlier this month. A neighbor later found the cat “mangled up.” It did not survive.
“It looked like he got nabbed by a predator of some sort,” Emge said.
Wildlife is no stranger to Highlands Ranch. Coyotes, foxes, and even bobcats and bears live in and near the open space in the area. But when Emge’s wife posted the story of their cat on social media, the response was surprising.
“We started finding a lot of neighbors just in this area had lost their pets, mainly cats,” he said. “And then people were finding mutilated cats, or parts of cats, just the legs in some cases.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife tells Denver7 they have not seen an increase in predatory activity in the area. According to a spokesperson, the most likely culprit would be a coyote or a bird like a red-tailed hawk or great horned owl (though they do not usually live in Highlands Ranch).
“This does serve as a good reminder that people need to protect their pets at all times,” an email from CPW read.
The Highlands Ranch Metro District says they have not received reports of dismembered cats, but that owners could be quicker to report issues on social media than to government agencies.
“We’ve got a lot of predators in the area. We’ve got to put the word out figure out how to live with them,” Emge said.