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On Wednesday, July 23rd, Angeline Scotten with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission  will be giving a presentation about coyotes in Lakeland beginning at 6PM in the City Commission Chambers. The presentation is being given in response to several cat mutilations reported in April around the Lake Hollingsworth area. In these cases, the cat carcasses were examined at the University of Florida in Gainesville by Veterinary Forensic Pathologist, Nanny Wenzlow, D.V.M.  The results of the examination were that each cat died of predatory animal and furthermore DNA samples taken from the cat carcasses confirmed a coyote was responsible.

The presentation will cover co-existing with coyotes, myths, facts about coyotes and how to keep your pets safe. Also in attendance to answer any questions will be Gary Morse, Regional Public Information Director with FWC, Craig Burke, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Control and Sgt. Mike Lewis, Lakeland Police Department.


Date: July 23rd, 2014

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Location: Lakeland City Hall, Commission Chambers, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue.


On April 24th, The Lakeland Police Department responded to 1421 Newport Ave to take a report of a mutilated cat. The reportee stated that on March 5, 2014 at 4:11 p.m., he found his cat mutilated in the front yard. The cat had been torn in half behind its front legs and the lower half was missing. He also reported that he had 2 other cats missing and he last saw them that same day at 7:00 a.m. The next day he went for a walk looking for his cats and found the lower half remains on Crystal Lake Drive.

Further investigation revealed a neighbor at 2420 Newport Ave had located the upper half of a cat in a yard at 1408 Easton Drive. She informed the owner of the cat and he stated he last saw the cat on April 23 at 7:00am. The remains were taken to the Cleveland Heights Animal Hospital and held for police. Doctor Houghton advised the trauma appears to have been mostly likely done with a knife or sharp object.

Today, a grounds keeper located a large white cat in the front yard at 2 Brook Lane that was on its side with a large hole. It appears if it was a recent injury and unknown what caused the injury. It is unknown who the owner of the cat is. Polk County Animal Control is assisting in the investigation and a necropsy will be performed to determine cause of death.

Today during the follow-up investigation, five additional officers canvassed the surrounding area and routine patrol has increased in this area. Detectives are now following up on the animal cruelty cases and each count is a felony of the third degree. 

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 or the Lakeland Police Department 17 863.834-6900.