KTAR News Radio and azcentral.com are reporting that this weekend police received phone calls from worried pet owners whose animals had gone missing. Residents are claiming the manager of El San Juan mobile home park in Peoria, Ariz. is trapping their pet cats and throwing them alive into a Sun City canal and nearby open field. Police say the manager has been given a verbal warning in the past for trapping cats and moving them to a different neighborhood.
Michael Murphy said he hasn’t the heart to tell his children that their 7 month old kitten Simba is gone. Murphy’s wife found the dead kitten not long after it vanished. Simba was found in a road near the canal in Sun City where the Murphys were told cats were being dumped.
“My kids were OK that they were not getting a lot of presents.” Murphy, who has been going through some tough times said, “I don’t know how to make this right for them, as a dad that is really hard. That’s how my wife found our kitten’s body and we knew it was his because he still had the collar on. They didn’t even bother to take it off.”
Murphy believes the manager at his mobile home park, that states in the amenities pets are welcome, is responsible for trapping his and his neighbor’s cats. Murphy related what happened when he spoke to the park manager:
”He basically dared me to prove he had done anything to my cat and basically insinuated if I pushed the issue he would get me thrown out of the park.”
Another resident of El San Juan mobile home park, Nirvana Dasilva-Eggleston, said her three cats Garfield, Theodore and Minx went missing last week. She soon realized she wasn’t the only person to have a missing cat. When she visited the mail room Dasilva-Eggleston noted there were several lost cat signs posted in the room. Dasilva-Eggleston said it was not normal for so many pet cats to go missing and all at the same time from the park. When she confronted the park manager Desilva-Eggleston claims she was told they had been dumping cats in the canal for years. Desilva-Eggleston alleges
“He said to my face ‘we don’t care, we don’t feel bad for you’.”
Peoria police said the park manager told investigators he was continuing the city’s trap, neuter and release program. The program was for feral cats only and not family pets; it was halted three years ago.
Frank Morales, .azcentral.com reporter, went to the park manager’s home to ask about the missing cats but Morales received no response. Ironically the park manager’s front yard was adorned by a large white feline yard ornament.
Peoria police say they are investigating the claims made this weekend and should have it wrapped up in the next couple of days.
There is grief and anger in this small community as pets go missing just before Christmas. Murphy said his children watched Simba being born and will soon hear of his death.
“I really want the last lesson they learn to be that people can’t do this without facing justice. At some level there has to be consequences.”