06/07/2012 11:39 EDT | Updated 08/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Mutilated cats now turning up in Langley

The B.C. SPCA says mutilated cats are now turning up in Langley as well as Maple Ridge.

In recent months the organization has been investigating an alarming number of cat killings and mutilations mostly in Maple Ridge.

Spokeswoman Lori Chortyk says there have now been three in the last month in Brookswood area of Langley.

In total the SPCA is investigating 24 cat killings across the Lower Mainland.

"We've not seen this many cases in one short period of time like this ever," said Chortyk.

It's possible some cats have been killed by animals, but most were clearly killed by a human, she said.

"Some of these cases were we just find parts of bodies may have involved an animal attack. We are not ruling that out. But most of the cases the animals are sawn exactly in half. They are cut. They are placed sometimes in a plastic bag on the porch where the pet lived. Sometimes they are placed under the missing cat poster."

The SPCA say it appears most of the kills are the responsibility of a single person and is working with a forensic specialist to try to learn more about the incidents.

Chortyk says it's important to find who's responsible because in sometimes people who are cruel to animals progress and become violent towards other people.

SFU criminologist Robert Gordon agrees.

"If you look at the histories of people who are involved in serial murder for example, you often find a history of cruelty to animals," said Gordon.