Many Weyburn families have recently reported their pet cat missing, enough that a new Facebook group “Pet Find Weyburn” was created on Wednesday and it had over 90 members after one day.
Even the Weyburn Humane Society has noted increased calls from owners who have lost their cats. Their own Facebook page, “Friends of Weyburn Humane Society”, had many locals talking about the cats that were missing.
“The cats are not coming home, so their owners are worried about them,” said Kelly Eddy, president of the Weyburn Humane Society. “It is really important that those owners put out notices around town, or come down to the shelter to take a look at the animals that we have.”
Eddy noted that the Humane Society will post pictures of the lost animals, and will care for any strays that are found. “We try to keep our eyes and ears open for their owners, and when an animal is found, they should let the Humane Society know.”
Sandy Spencer Johnson is missing her 11-year old cat Homer Simpson. “He was last seen on the night of Aug. 13. Usually he has stuck to the yard, and never was a wanderer.”
“The whole situation is just weird. Within a five-block radius of our house, there are at least four or five cats that have gone missing,” said Spencer Johnson.
Jeff and Shauna Chessall are also missing their cat, Kit, who disappeared a week ago. “She never wanders off, she is a very friendly cat and is great with kids,” said Shauna.
The disappearance of Kit is especially difficult for Tyla, their 12-year-old daughter. “Kit sleeps with her overnight, so Tyla is really missing her right now,” said Shauna. She added that Tyla has a small stuffed animal in Kit’s bed as a substitute.
Three days after Kit disappeared from her house, Shauna said that their neighbour’s cat also went missing. “Fluffy is a bigger, gray tabby cat. We actually saw their cat around 12 to 12:30 that night, and have not seen it since.”
“That makes it a little more suspicious; I don’t think it is coincidental that both of our cats go missing within days of each other,” said Shauna.
There is no evidence that the many cases of disappearing cats is related to criminal activity, said Weyburn Police Chief Marlo Pritchard. “We were contacted Wednesday in regard to this issue. We think it is because of coyotes coming into town. One of our officers did see a coyote on the outskirts of the city.”
However, the Weyburn Conservation Office have no proof that coyotes have entered residential areas. Residents were advised to never leave dog or cat food outside, since it can be a temptation to other wildlife.
“I heard of the coyote sightings, but I just don’t buy it. This is just too weird,” said Spencer Johnson. “There are definitely a lot of cats missing. The older ones, like Homer, are smart enough to avoid coyotes. He would have just run into the house if that was the case.”
The creation of the Facebook group, “Pet Find Weyburn”, has given hope to these families. “It shows that there are people who still have compassion, that they are looking,” said Shauna. “The tips have given us hope. It brings awareness to this situation.”
There is a bylaw which regulates control of ownership of dogs and cats within the City of Weyburn. It reads that “No owner shall permit any dog or cat to run at large in the City; ‘Run at Large’ means not being under control of the owner or any person acting on his of her behalf or by confinement.”
There is also a limitation on the number of pets that any one person can possess or harbour, ensuring that it is no more than three dogs or cats over the age of six months. The Weyburn Humane Society is in charge of animal control in the City of Weyburn. Dogs and cats found running at large are delivered to the animal shelter located at 57 16th Street, by the Fire Hall.
Pet owners who are interested can also contact the Humane Society to learn more about inserting microchips that can assist in tracking the animal.
“I have also heard of a GPS chip where if the animal gets lost, you know where it is,” said Shauna. “If I had known of these devices, I would have had one placed into my cat.”