Hutchinson police are investigating claims of cats being snatched from the streets of Hutchinson.
Only one person has actually filed a report of a pet being taken, though there were multiple reports of feral cats missing, said Hutchinson Police Capt. Thad Pickard.
“We are taking it seriously, and we are investigating,” Pickard said. “We don’t know how widespread it might be.”
Posts on several different Facebook sites contend the animals are being used to train dogs to fight, but Pickard and Det. Division Commander Lt. Dustin Loepp declined to speculate.
“I hadn’t seen my cat since Friday (Oct. 22),” said Linda J. Allen, 66, who has filed a lone report. “I went out to call for him, and my neighbor asked if I was looking for my cat, Pooh. He said a white pickup truck with two people in it had my cat. They asked him if it was his, and when he said it was not, they drove off. He couldn’t remember what they looked like.”
Another neighbor who lives across the alley from Allen has cameras set up and recorded the white pickup, which appears to be an older model Dodge with a club cab, driving through the alley.
“One picture shows the (truck) passenger holding a cat looking out the window,” Allen said.
The timestamp showed it was taken just before noon, Oct. 21.
Allen said the officer who took her report advised anyone missing a cat they believe was taken should report it.
Pickard said Allen’s was the only report. However, he couldn’t say how many feral cats people have reported missing because they don’t generate reports for that, since they are free-range and don’t belong to anyone, so there is no crime.
Allen said her gray tabby and its brother were adopted together from the Hutchinson Animal Shelter. The shelter had named it Pooh Bear and she kept the name for her grandson.
“His brother still cries for him every day,” she said.
Allen said they’ve posted the video of the truck, hoping someone recognizes it.
Another video posted to the site Hutchinson Street Cat Society shows what appears to be a black man with long hair attempting to snatch a cat from a porch swing, but the cat got away, and the man drove off. The person who posted the video stated the car appeared to be a silver Grand Am.
Allen lives near Allen Elementary School. She said her cousin in the 3700 block of Monroe also reported her cat came up missing. Other reports, she said, are on Reno County Lost and Found.
“There’s a lot of speculation going on and a lot of information third-hand and on social media, but nothing concrete,” Loepp said earlier this week. “It’s possible this stuff is going on, but so far we’ve been unable to confirm it.”
To report a missing cat contact the Hutchinson Police Department at 620-694-2816.