New task force working to find cat killer in Thurston County

Police departments in Thurston county are banding together to catch whoever is mutilating cats. (Photo: KOMO News)

OLYMPIA, Wash - Police departments in Thurston county are banding together to catch whoever is mutilating cats. A task force has been set up now that 12 cats have been found.

"This is horrible," said cat owner Ashlee York of Olympia. "This is frightening. You think your animals are safe outside and apparently nowhere is safe anymore."

The most recent cat was found Tuesday in Olympia near the Chehalis Western Trail by Paul DeTray.

"This person needs help," he said. "Either they need to be locked up in a full time mental facility or they need to go to prison."

Whoever is doing this is moving around hitting in small pockets over several months. There have been four cats killed in Lacey, three in West Olympia, one in Tumwater, two in Olympia and two on Steilacoom Road in Lacey.

The task force recommends pet owners keep their cats indoors especially at night.

"I fear for my father-in-law's cat because she doesn't like to be inside," said York.

Bryan York's cat is Abby. He said she likes to stay outdoors during the day and most of the time comes in at night. But, he lives just two blocks from where two other cats in Olympia were found.

"Lately she's been staying inside and after what you told me today, she isn't going to be outside for long until they find this guy," he said.

A task force has now been set up with detectives assigned solely to this case from Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater police departments and the Thurston County Sheriff's office to assist Thurston Joint Animal Services, which has been going it alone until recently.

They are hoping the now $36,000 reward will kick loose some leads like those that come in from alert people such as Bryan.

He put up a camouflage surveillance camera after he heard about the first cats were found, and he keeps checking it for suspicious people.

"It's going to be a sad day for the guy if I catch him," he said.

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