The body of a 25-pound African serval cat hybrid that's been roaming the streets of Detroit for a month was discovered shot to death in a garbage can Monday, and animal rights groups are not happy.
Several panicked residents reported seeing a large, leopard-looking cat prowling Detroit's northeast side over the last few weeks to the Michigan Humane Society but no one could ever locate the animal.
Paws for the Cause, a Detroit feral cat rescue group, took over the case to help find the African serval/domestic housecat mix called a Savannah cat. It was reportedly kept as an exotic pet, and the owners contacted Paws earlier this week to report that the 3-year-old cat, named Chum, escaped through a window about a month ago.
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"I don't think it was the size as much as the coloration that scared people," Paws for the Cause founder Laura Wilhelm-Bruzek told the Detroit Free Press.
Savannah cats typically have long legs and exotic spots or stripes, and can grow to be as heavy as 30 pounds.
Wilhelm-Bruzek said the rescue group had heard that someone shot Chum but didn’t find the body until Monday.
"I think people can’t just go around shooting things they don’t understand," she told the Free Press. "I think we need to be a little bit more respectful of the animals and human beings around us. I’d love to see someone look into it and investigate it. But I’m not holding out a lot of hope. This whole thing from the beginning has just been a mess."
The owners, who reportedly raised Chum since the cat was 4 months old, were "hysterical," Wilhelm-Bruzek said.
"They're heartbroken," she told CBS Detroit.
"They had to watch this unfold over the news and all the lies with people saying this cat is dangerous, you know, when those of us that know the breed know that it was not. I mean, the neighbors have pictures of them petting the cat."
It's unknown who exactly shot and killed the cat.
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