Police in Putnam County are looking for a possible serial cat killer who may be responsible for the deaths of four cats since last July. NBC reports that a Patterson man called the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Jan. 7 and said his cat appeared to have been shot while it was outside. The 7-month-old black and brown female Calico cat, named "Blackfoot," turned out to have been shot with a high-powered BB gun or a low caliber rifle; it had a neck wound and a spinal fracture that veterinarians believe was caused by blunt force trauma.

After being cared for at Westchester Animal Hospital, Blackfoot died Feb. 11 due to progressive paralysis. “Although many feel that feral cats may be a nuisance, it is a crime to harm these animals,” said Chief Ken Ross of the Putnam County SPCA. “Owned cats, under the law are allowed to roam outside, and when someone takes matters into their own hands, not only are they committing animal cruelty, they may end injuring their neighbor’s child or pet.”

Authorities noted that Blackfoot was shot half a mile from where a severed cat head was found last August. Authorities are also investigating if these incidents are connected to two other cat beheadings in July several miles away in the Connecticut towns of Oxford and Fairfield.