MSPCA-Angell Investigating the Torture, Killing of Cats in Lawrence

December 14, 2012

BOSTON, Dec. 14, 2012 – The MSPCA-Angell announced today that it is working in lockstep with local police to investigate the torture and killing of nine cats over the last month in Lawrence, Mass.  The killings have kept residents of the city on edge and remain a mystery to investigators.  The MSPCA’s Law Enforcement department is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for animal cruelty.

The most recent cat was found on a city sidewalk last week.  A necropsy performed by a local veterinarian revealed several broken and dislocated bones, including fractures of the spine, ribs and skull.  The injuries suggested the cat may have been swung by its tail into a hard surface, causing death by blunt force trauma.

Officials are hopeful that the reward will encourage anyone with information about the case to call the MSPCA’s toll-free law enforcement line.  “The brutality and randomness of these crimes demand a coordinated and aggressive investigation,” said MSPCA Law Enforcement Director Richard LeBlond.  “As of today we do not have a suspect identified and we ask anyone who may have information to call our department at 800-628-5808.”

LeBlond emphasized that all information is kept confidential and callers can remain anonymous if they wish.

The MSPCA will likely turn to the Pathology department at its own Angell Animal Medical Center to perform analyses on other cats believed to have been killed by the same individual(s). 

Keeping Pets Safe

The MSPCA urges residents of Lawrence and surrounding areas to keep their cats indoors at all times—and to ensure their pets are microchipped and fitted with identification tags. 

Tackling the Overpopulation Crisis
The MSPCA-Nevins Farm in nearby Methuen is on high alert for any cats who may be found injured and in need of care and shelter.  The center has also been working to reduce the cat overpopulation crisis in Lawrence by offering low cost spay and neuter surgeries for cats living in the city.  Said Mike Keiley, director of the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center at Nevins Farm: “The low cost spay-neuter program is more critical now than ever—because whomever is doing this has access to so many homeless cats living on the streets.”

Animal cruelty is a felony crime in Massachusetts and, should a suspect be convicted, he or she faces prison and steep fines. 


Readers can click here to donate to the MSPCA’s Law Enforcement department as it investigates this case, as well as the approximately 2,500 investigations of alleged animal cruelty cases annually.  In the event that a reward is not paid or claimed in this case, donations toward the reward will be used for future investigations including the care of the animals involved in each investigation. 



The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions from individuals who care about animals. Please visit