Shocking reports of animal cruelty in the South Bay have families fearing for their pets and children.
Several Gilroy residents and police said they ate burnt animals, both domestic and wild.
One woman said her son’s kitten had been tortured so much that they had to put her to sleep.
Tigger, 5 months old, was Caleb Hawkings’ newest and best friend.
“When my brother came, we held him and that was my favorite part,” he said.
But she had gone missing for a few hours about a week ago and it was Caleb who found her in their garage – only she didn’t look like herself anymore.
“She was all messed up and dirty and we saw a lot of cuts on the back, but there was a lot more than that,” Caleb said.
They rushed Tigger to the vet where Caleb’s mother learned that her injuries were not an accident.
“She had a lot of facial trauma, but it wasn’t the main cause of her injuries. The biggest problem and the reason we had to put her down was someone cut her tongue all the way back at the base,” Mariah Gomez said.
She said they also found burn marks on her mouth.
She shared her anger and shock on social media, where others were also quick to share their stories.
Cats missing from several homes, reports of burnt, mutilated or skinned carcasses. All shocking discoveries linked to at least three neighborhoods bordering the creek beds near Church Street.
“Because we have young boys and several other animals, it was a little scary for us not to want to put them outside and always keep them inside,” Gomez said.
A team of residents say they have been following this trend of animal cruelty since March.
“The amount of abuse and violence against these animals is appalling and it is of concern to everyone that we know that people who start out with animals that abuse them often move on to humans,” said Nan Hawkins, a Gilroy resident.
Nan said she and her friends reported these animal deaths and based on their discoveries, she believes there are about 19 victims.
“We feel the community itself is in danger because we don’t know when he’s going to escalate and turn from animal to human,” Nan said.
At the last city council meeting, Gilroy police spoke up on the matter, saying they have only investigated three reports of animal abuse in recent months, including the Tiggers case.
“There have been no arrests for any of these said cases, there are no suspects and there is no evidence and the unhoused person or persons are responsible,” Gilroy police said in a statement notifying residents of an increase of incidents with allegations of animal cruelty and a plea for residents with information.
Anything to make this community feel safe again.