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Kitten Adopted From Auburn Sanctuary Later Found Cut In Half

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LAKE OF THE PINES (CBS13) – A cat was saved from being put down only to be found mutilated. Now the search is on for the person responsible.

It’s still hard for Shirley Hartford to talk about.

“You scoop her up, she would purr, very trusting,” she said.

She’s talking about a 5-month-old kitten named Panda who was found mutilated in Nevada County. Shirley says she had only recently adopted out Panda from her Auburn Friends Forever Cat Sanctuary.

“I did my follow-up call three days after, to find how the cats were doing, and the woman told me she gave them to her daughter,” she said.

A few months later, Shirley got a call from an animal control officer in Lake of the Pines.

“I asked what happened, if she was dead. They said ‘yes.’ And they told me it was a very horrible thing and they wouldn’t tell me what happened,” she said.

It’s hard to hear, but Nevada County deputies say Panda was found on a corner inside the gated community, sawed in half by a sharp tool, her organs removed. They’ve still yet to find the cat’s back end.

“This is a sick person, this is a very disturbed person,” Hartford said.

CBS13 attempted to call the woman who originally adopted Panda, but there was no answer. Shirley suspects the cat may have been targeted.

“This is a satanic ritual,” she said. “She was a black cat.”

Now this cat lover is hoping the person capable of mutilating a rescued kitten gets caught.

“If you can do this to a cat, something that heinous and so violent, then what are you capable of?” she asked.

Deputies are looking into this case and say a veterinarian has confirmed the injury did not come from a car or another animal. They say if someone is arrested, they’ll likely be charged with felony animal cruelty.

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