BC SPCA Maple Ridge branch on Jackson Road. (THE NEWS/files)

Dead cat found Zap-strapped sparks B.C. SPCA investigation

The cat was found in Cook Park

WARNING: Some of the details in this story are graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.

The B.C. SPCA is investigating the death of a cat after it was found in a Lower Mainland park, with Zap straps around its legs and neck.

The cat had been placed on a swing in Cook Park in central Maple Ridge. It was discovered by a passerby around 10:40 a.m. on Oct. 26.

“There is no direct evidence right away that the cat died of strangulation,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer with the B.C. SPCA.

“We can’t come to a conclusion right now whether the cat was deceased when those were put on or whether that was put on and was the cause of death,” she added of the Zap straps.

The body has since been sent off for a necropsy and there is an open investigation. The RCMP have confirmed they have an open file on the feline.

Moriarty said the way the cat was found is “obviously extremely problematic,” regardless of whether it was michief or had been killed by another animal before someone found it and used the plastic straps.

”Is it technically illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act? No. We would have to be able to establish that the animal was in distress,” Moriarty added.

A posting on social media indicated there may have been more than one animal found with Zap-straps binding its legs and neck, but so far the SPCA is only aware of the one cat.

“If others were found, absolutely we want to be contacted,” said Moriarty.

“Once cause of death is determined, either way, we will be seeking information if anybody has evidence as to who might have done this to contact us.”