A one-year-old orange tabby cat named Charlie was "brutally killed" overnight in Verbena Park, three blocks south of East Colfax Avenue, according to Denver's Department of Public Health and Environment. Denver Animal Protection is searching for witnesses and asking for neighbors to review their surveillance cameras for anything suspicious.
"There's a clear link between animal abuse and elder abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. We want to make sure this doesn't elevate, and that anybody that's committing these types of acts, we want to find these people," said Jenna Humphreys, a Denver Animal Protection officer, at a press conference today, June 7.
Charlie's owner, Terri Kimrey, adopted Charlie about nine months ago. "I'm speechless. It really hasn't hit what's happened."
Kimrey, who spoke at the press conference, lives a block from the park. This morning she noticed Charlie, who was an indoor/outdoor cat, wasn't in for breakfast. She then got a knock on the door from Humphreys, who asked if Charlie was her cat. "I regret to inform you that he is no longer with us," Humphreys told her. "He's been killed."
Humphreys then declined to show Kimrey the cat because "she didn't want me to have that image in my head as the last thing I saw of my cat. So I'm guessing it was pretty bad."
The 911 caller found Charlie at about 5 a.m. and decided to call police because of the gruesome scene. Humphreys also noted that there were rocks covered in blood and fur nearby Charlie that may have been used in the attack.
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A spokesperson for the Department of Public Health and Environment says that police and animal protection officers who arrived at the scene were "shaken up" after what they saw there.
If the person responsible for Charlie's killing murdered him with intent, he or she could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony charge, according to Humphreys. Once Denver Animal Protection finishes its investigation, it will give its findings to the Denver Police Department.
For Kimrey's part, she says her house won't be the same. "He was the first kitten that I had. He would love to cuddle and sleep at my feet. So tonight's going to be different than before. He will be missed."
Anyone with information relevant to this investigation should call Sergeant Avery Borden at 720-337-1797.