Waynesboro, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, has quite a mystery on its hands. Apparently, someone is capturing neighborhood cats and shaving them. According to local reports, the cats’ underbellies and legs are being shaved “precisely.”
Police Capt. Kelly Walker said Friday that all the cats have been returned otherwise unharmed, but some seem bothered. Walker says all the cats clearly had owners – they were well-groomed and wearing collars. He says police aren’t sure what crime has been committed, but the owners “would just like it to stop.”
Kelly said he first learned about the shaving spree when a resident asked if he could post notices asking anyone with information to call police.
So far at least seven cats have been victimized. No one has reported witnessing any abductions or shavings, and so far no one has come forward with information.
Walker said that if someone “sees someone bothering a cat that is not theirs,” they should let the police know as soon as possible.
On the Waynsboro.com Facebook page, theories abound about why this might be happening.
Chris Peer suggested that the cats were picked up as part of a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program. “I would wager that they are being caught as feral and then spayed or neutered.”
But Holly Kyler argued, “Usually a cat fixed through a TNR program has a clipped ear to show it is fixed so it isn’t taken to the clinic for a second time.”
“No, Chris, you would lose that wager,” wrote Mary Martin. “My cat was shaved 3 times and she had a collar and a visible tattoo from spaying. I’ve kept her in since February and she won’t let the hair grow back. It is distressing.”
Meghan Gum explained how the program works. “If her kitty has a blue tattoo or obvious spay scar on her tummy, there’s no way for them to tell whether or not she is spayed until they shave her (unless she’s been eartipped),” she wrote. “Animal rescues in Waynesboro have TNR programs that people probably aren’t aware of. Just one reason to keep a breakaway collar and tag on your outside pets,” she said.
Nita Lewis made an excellent point: “It would be very hard to shave a cat by yourself,” she wrote. “When you see them shaved, have they been missing all day?” she wanted to know.
Several people suggested (tongue-in-cheek, I hope!) that alien abductions may be to blame for the mysterious shavings.
Melissa Henley thinks the cats could have been picked up as part of the TNR program but suggested it could also be “someone trying to make a statement about how dangerous it is for cats that are allowed to just roam the neighborhood.”
From there, the comments devolved into a heated debate about whether cats should be allowed to roam freely in residential neighborhoods.
Flyers have been posted that warn residents of the Tree Streets that somebody is abducting cats and shaving their…
What do you think happened to the cats? And should people keep their cats indoors? Leave us a comment and let us know!