WATERTOWN, MASS. (WHDH) - Authorities are turning to the public for help after a cat was found dead in a weighted down trash bag in the Charles River late last month.

A Watertown resident who regularly walks along California Street spotted a black trash bag in the river about eight feet from the shoreline on Jan. 30, according to Watertown Animal Control Officer Karen O’Reilly.

The bag, which was weighed down by a large rock, contained a deceased tortoiseshell cat.

O’Reilly says the emaciated animal had “a unique tan marking strip” on its forehead.

In her 13-years on the job, she said she has never seen anything like this.

Investigators are unsure if the cat was alive or already dead when it was tossed into the river.

“This is a first,” O’Reilly said. “It’s not OK. Whether the cat was deceased or alive. Obviously, animal cruelty is a felony if that cat was alive then that would be a serious crime.”

She said she wants the public to know that there are humane ways of dealing with a deceased pet and this is not one of them.

There are strict animal cruelty laws on the books in Mass. and O’Reilly said she will not stop until she solves this disturbing discovery.

“I do hope everything leads me to believe the cat was already dead when it went it. I do hope that. That the cat didn’t suffer,” she said.

Anyone who may have witnessed suspicious activity in the area is urged to contact Watertown Animal Control at 617-972-6446.


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